It’s in the past decade that we’ve become real spoiled with how much variety there is in the wide world of metal, and seems to go double for black metal more often than not. Cosmic black metal, in particular, has found one hell of a crowd and presence with bands from Mesarthim to Mare Cognitum gracing us with masterworks that we still can’t enough of. Many copycats have come around to fill the scene up with a lot of uninteresting mess, but it’s with their debut album that Etoile Filante proves without a doubt that they are not such a copycat.
With such a cover art like that, it’d be hard to expect this album to be one of the better examples of cosmic black metal that I’ve seen in years with the recent split between Mare Cognitum and Spectral Lore being the only thing worth its own salt for some time, and even after finishing “Magnum Opus Caelestis” I can’t help but feel that this act has one hell of a future ahead of themselves. There’s so much happening within the confines of this album from the spectacular 22-minute epic that opens this record to the mystifying ambient piece that is the closer that it’s absolutely exhilarating to witness how well it’s done here from the execution to the actual musicianship. It brings further glory to the realm of cosmic black metal in a way that very few new bands are able to accomplish anywhere near this scale, and it’s all throughout “Magnum Opus Caelestis” that we can see it on display with Etoile Filante knowing exactly what excellence they’ve created here with every ounce of these tracks showing their confidence in full force with the quality to match perfectly. “Magnum Opus Caelestis” can effortlessly shift between some very interesting black metal to some classy ambiance in a way that’s on the same scale of a great act of the style, and Etoile Filante wasn’t far off the bullseye at all with this piece. It comes together fantastically well such that by the end you’re left wanting more as it was just so interesting and multi-layered to where there’s no such thing as enough of the fabulousness that’s occuring within “Magnum Opus Caelestis”.
It’s far from common that we can get an effort like this that surges past so many other bands of a particular style in the same way that Etoile Filante has here, but it’s in just the first few minutes alone that we can see why exactly this French act has the capacity to do so much more. There isn’t a single thing from “Magnum Opus Caelestis” that I’d change, and I truly can’t wait to hear more!
LISTEN to “Magnum Opus Caelestis” on Bandcamp here.
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