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Unearthing The Metal Underground: Australia's StarGazer

Australia has been a hotbed of extreme metal madness for decades. Whether we are talking about the classic eighties thrash of Hobbs' Angel of Death (RIP Peter Hobbs), the disgusting noise of blackened death metal pioneers Sadistik Exekution, the bar-room brawl aggression of Damaged, or—more recently—the psychotically evil death metal oppression of Eskhaton, there’s something nasty and vile brewing in the heavy metal cauldron that’s Down Under. There is also the invigorating avant-garde black/death metal band StarGazer, revered in select underground circles but virtually unheard of by many death and black metal acolytes. The act has been kicking out the evil jams for a quarter of a century at this point, and the black magical band will release its latest full-length album, “Psychic Secretions,” at the beginning of February of the new year via Nuclear War Now! Productions.

A beautiful guitar melody constitutes the album’s opening track, “Simulacrum,” kick starting a dramatic album that captures the band’s dynamic, sometimes prog-inclined complexity without betraying the band’s primitive and savage roots. “Lash of the Tytans,” the release’s first proper song, explodes with inspirational fury as if it were a heavy metal call to arms. The bold melodies and savage attack duel one another simultaneously at times, trading positions at others. Augmenting the guitar melodies are the undistorted fretless bass lines by The Great Righteous Destroyer, wonderfully juxtaposing the blistering drum work. There is so much to soak in with “Psychic Secretions” that a dozen listening sessions are required to even scratch the surface of the depth of the brilliant artistry at hand. Death and black metal fans unfamiliar with StarGazer would be wise to dive into the band’s work, and “Psychic Secretions” is a great starting point.

JayHGorania's avatar

Jay H. Gorania is a long time metal journalist and sings for Trench Warfare. He also writes for Blabbermouth and Hellbound.ca and has in the past edited for Pit and written for Metal Maniacs, Unrestrained!, Hails and Horns, AMP and Outburn as well as other media outlets.

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