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Primality transmogrified - 85%

Triptychondrion, August 12th, 2017

Teaming up to produce a short split limited to 350 vinyl copies in 2009, two of Australia's finest exports, Stargazer and Sacriphyx, joined forces to craft something that presents the best aspects of both while balancing their opposing visions and inclinations. Despite being radically different in style -Stargazer being an eccentric progressive death metal group and Sacriphyx a melodic black metal band of the Hellenic variety- the two acts come together beautifully on this release, their songs syncretising naturally with each other despite the structural and tonal differences between them.

Sacriphyx's track starts with a heart melting riff that gracefully morphs into a series of melodic rhythms and leads that convey a sense of melancholic triumph rich with the sweet catchiness of the Greek sound we all know and love. The lyrics tell the story of Australian WW1 hero Alfred Shout, and are actually quite sad and gripping, even if the narration itself feels a bit silly. The second half is the seven minutes track "Tryaal by Obsidian," a track that is relatively straight forward by Stargazer standards and which sounds aggressive and traditionally-structured enough to feel like something out of the band's early days. The guitar work is energetic and fluid, the bass and the drums are as frantic as ever, and the overall performance is just what you would typically expect from Stargazer. For all its complexity, the song feels visceral and organic enough to fit with Sacriphyx's simplistic and slightly-repetitive strain of black metal.

On the whole, this is a decent release. It's too short to be judged meaningfully, but it's brevity might be one of its strengths, as it is possible to imagine that its overall cohesiveness might've been damaged by a longer runtime that makes the stylistic differences between the two bands seem more noticeable. If you're a a hardcore fan, this stuff is right for you.