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Purifying In Graceful Slaughter - 98%

TheDeadEndKing, June 10th, 2019

Where to begin? "The Scream That Tore The Sky" is, at this juncture, an obscure album that gets very little praise. Shameful, on many fronts. Stargazer's debut is so unique in form that it's still mind-bending almost a decade and a half after its release. Imagine if the music of Gorguts, The Chasm, and DSO were locked in an ancient crypt. Now imagine that crypt is in a different dimension. Crazy? Cheesy? Maybe. But it's a ballpark description of how to approach this anomalous beauty.

The technical prowess here is masterful. Time signature changes that weave in and out of one another seamlessly, like the coils of a serpent. Punishing, feverish riffs and unearthly, eerie bass lines, mixed in perfect synchronicity with chaotic, otherworldly drumming. Howling, ravenous vocals only fuel this whirlwind's intensity. Production refined to a point that no one instrument gets lost behind the others. A primitive, arcane, preternatural atmosphere layered in mysticism and melancholy. This feels like it wasn't created on this planet, let alone this time period. It feels like the natural precursor to so many artists today who play anything atmospheric as far as extreme music is concerned, and yet gets none of the credit for its own accomplishments.

To the average listener, this album may be hard to follow. It's everywhere all at once. That said, even a casual listener can appreciate the musicianship here. The album opener, "...Of The Sun", is a magnificent gateway into the album's gaping maw, spinning you around with spiraling riffs that meld together perfectly. "Tongues" is a beautiful instrumental that bleeds effortlessly into "Scribe To The Forsaken Mother", a monolithic ripper that makes you feel like you're lost in a black hole. "Viral Spears and Shards of Moonskin" contains some of the most unreal atmosphere in the entire record, complete with ghostly chants and echoing howls. "Ye Olde Magicks" is a masterful, almost eight minute journey, showing off every bit of the musical prowess previously expressed, and is honestly the album's highlight. And that's high praise, considering the rest of the work.

"The Scream That Tore The Sky" is an experience, and Stargazer's undisputed opus. It's one of those albums you have to sit down and dedicate a listen to, front to back, to gauge its true depth and value. A sprawling, occult, cerebral epoch from another plane of existence. You won't find many other albums that'll haunt you like this does. A true, hidden gem in death/black metal.