Stellar Death, Fragments Of Light (2021)

Stellar Death’s debut album is an adventure in instrumental space prog that winds through disparate corners of the universe to coalesce in a fascinating unified semblance.

Matt Kozar and Scott Loose are the duo Stellar Death, playing instrumental music that lands a heavy blow. They have worked together for many years in the band Brave, and decided to branch out with this new project in order to shed any constraints on form. Both are guitarist and play keys, with Loose minding the percussion. There are eight pieces on the album, most in a fairly long design.

The opening song is a seven minute outline titled “The Astronomer.” Throughout its course, many of the elements and atoms that combine in the musical creation of the set are first introduced, including mesmerizing ambient sequences and forceful guitar movements. “Endless” is filled with sadness the way that Frank Zappa’s “Watermelon In Easter Hay” is, and that is meant to be a high compliment. Its companion piece, “Betelgeuse,” moves on from trauma and morning, turning a corner and picking up power. Heavier guitars and more rambunctious percussion returns in “Binary Collapse” to close side one.

On the back four, solitude is a reinforcing theme and a channel for momentous contemplation. “Everywhere and Nowhere” has quite dramatic moments, while “Critical Mass” presents the most tense passages in the eight minute leg. Stellar Death winds it down with “Afterglow,” offering up a spell of reflection and meditation. While this album will appeal perhaps most to the ambient crowd as it is on the less technical side of prog, anyone who likes instrumental rock will find a confrère here. Recommended.

The street date for Fragments Of Light is January 8th. Direct business is at Bandcamp for the download. Three songs are available now and you can listen to them instantly if you preorder the album.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://stellardeath.bandcamp.com/album/fragments-of-light

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/stellardeathdc

Stellar Death, Fragments Of Light (2021)

Mortiferum ~ Hyperdontia, Split 7 (Carbonized Records 2020)

The whole is greater than the sum of the parts with the new Doom split by Mortiferum and Hyperdontia.

This split release was meant to be a companion EP for a tour the two bands were going to do together in 2020. We all know what happened to every tour this year. Still, the split exists and is being released now at the end of the year as a sort of prelude to the tour that will happen as soon as live music rises from its temporary grave.

One side is Mortiferum, a Washington state Death Metal band that made big waves with their album Disgorged From Psychotic Depths last year. Playing to the Doom side of the field, they contribute “Abhorrent Genesis,” a lurker drenched in cemetery fog. The beautiful distortion and foreboding riffs slowly squeeze the life out of you for a minute and a half or so until the tempo lurches forward and escape is clearly no longer possible. The low register vocals are a surrounding force and the noticeable lead guitar work is a defining characteristic of the band.

Mortiferum

Another side is Hyperdontia, whose members come from Turkey and Denmark. Their first full-length appeared in 2018, Nexus Of Teeth, and they have issued a bevy of EPs and singles as well in the past few years. The Doom lives in the ever-present background of “Punctured Soul,” encircling the Black and Death Metal centerpieces in a dark cloak. The music is aggressive and understandable; the sentiments and intentions, joinable. Whirring guitar work and determined drumming are interspersing agents in the caustic dankness of the music. It is a whetstone for your imagination.

Hyperdontia

Available now at the links below, this seven inch will definitely get you into the appropriate headspace for the holidays. Recommended.

Mortiferum band photo by Carter Murdoch.

Links.

Mortiferum, http://mortiferum.bandcamp.com

Hyperdontia Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/hyperdontia

Hyperdontia Bandcamp, http://hyperdontiaofficial.bandcamp.com

Carbonized Bandcamp, http://www.carbonizedrecords.bandcamp.com

Me Saco Un Ojo, http://www.mesacounojo.com

Me Saco Un Ojo Bandcamp, http://www.mesacounojo.bandcamp.com

Mortiferum ~ Hyperdontia, Split 7 (Carbonized Records 2020)