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Starer - 18° Below the Horizon

18° Below the Horizon
by Laura Glover at 25 February 2021, 6:48 AM

Symphonic, Post Rock, and Black Metal solo artist, STARER, are new to the scene. Releasing his debut album on January 29, 2021, Josh Hines can play one hell of a guitar riff. The title of the album, 18° Below the Horizon, is described by Josh as referring to the time of the night sky, be it dawn or dusk. “In this genre of music there are only so many ways to imply total darkness that haven’t been said before.” As well as the name of the band itself, STARER, has an interesting story as Josh named it after one of his dogs. She is a street dog he rescued from Cairo, and while her name is not Starer, this is what she does all the time. STARER has heavy influences in Post Rock, a unique sound leaning heavily towards a 90’s sound. Josh expresses a deep love for the Post Rock genre, interest that lies in the way the story is woven in both Post Rock and Metal.

Son of Fire” - Symphonic and atmospheric melodies open this song. Ethereal notes on guitar rise and fall like gentle waves of galactic light, flowing through and piercings the depths of the darkness. Joshes voice is deep, yet soft somehow and adds to the dreamlike quality of this song. “First Morning Light” - The opening guitar riffs in this song definitely have that Post Rock taste. In unique combination with Symphonic chords, he manages to find a way to make this combination work very well together. Including literally perfect drum work. This is an all-consuming and powerful song, A song that orchestrates emotion like a seasoned maestro. “Vessel” - Haunting notes, illustrious darkness. This isn’t a fast beat, per se, but a steady and strong one. The Post Rock vibes are ever present in this song as well. A lot of the guitar riffs are very “Rock-ish”. I have never heard the combination of Rock and Metal quite like this. Josh melds it all together seamlessly, and not only that, in a way that begs you to listen again and again.

It is so hard to come by a unique sound today. It seems everything has been done or tried before. STARER does so very well at meshing a several types of music and yet making them sound like they belong together. According to Josh, he has just begun. I look forward to hearing about this bands journey, and next album.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 9
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. First Morning Light
2. Dayspring
3. Son of the Fire
4. Umbra
5. Vessel
6. Uncovering
Josh Hines – Everything
Record Label: Independent


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