It’s been over the past decade where we’ve seen the idea of black metal taking over space come a long way with so many acts now bringing the vicious sound to the interstellar void that we find ourselves in. I’ve seen bands that try to implement electronic effects into their style, bring sci-fi to black metal in a very grand and sprawling way, and others try to embody the very chaos that can occur in space as well as its vast dark emptiness. Not many have tried to bring the last to life as it can be quite tricky, but that didn’t stop Starless Domain from attempting it and it’s their latest offering that brings the concept to a new height.
The vast endlessness of space goes on for forever, so what better way to embody such magnitude than with one massive long track spanning over forty minutes that seems to stretch on for eternity but in the best possible way? Starless Domain did just that with “Alma” in all of its staggering magnitude that takes plenty of elements that we’ve seen from cosmic black metal before but it’s almost an entirely different ball game with the presentation and length of this single-track album alone. It adds a completely new dimension to the mix as Starless Domain rips us through space, burning up dark matter itself with such speed, and collapsing the stars themselves with such all-engrossing power that “Alma” constantly demonstrates for us. The whole of this record is an absolute slaughter that rarely ever ceases even for the relief of the musicians playing as every massive, scathing element that is amazingly interesting to listen to as Starless Domain takes us to the darkest corners of space with so much power and intensity that it makes all of “Alma” viciously intriguing from beginning to end as this act easily accomplishes such an ambitious concept that not enough bands have the balls to do, and it’s done justice at every turn here.
I’ve always been a long advocate for super long single-track albums like this but not all of them work, yet it’s with every ounce Starless Domain has impressed magnificently with this effort as cosmic black metal is taken to its rawest and most primal incarnation with this piece. “Alma” taps into interstellar power the likes of which we don’t see often, and it’s only with time that I can see Starless Domain taking the strengths with this release to make a work that’s truly something to behold.
“Alma” is being re-released on cassette via Tartarus Records on October 18th!
LISTEN to the digital version of “Alma” on Bandcamp here.
LIKE Starless Domain on Facebook here.
The cassette version is not currently up for pre-order at the time of this review being made so please do keep your eyes peeled for it either through Tartarus Records’ Bandcamp here or via their official store with the US cassettes being handled by Crown and Throne Ltd. whose Bandcamp can be found here.