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Sxuperion - Auscultating Astral Monuments Award winner

Sxuperion
Auscultating Astral Monuments
by Ben Gardiner at 26 July 2021, 9:32 PM

Blackened Cosmic Death Metal, this album thrusts you into its horrific universe of guttural vocals, pounding blast beats and dark, heavy tone. Slipping through passages of spacey atmosphere, and harsh gloomy Metal. SXUPERION focus on the suffocating pitch blackness of space. That crushing absence of all light and sound and colour, creating a nightmarish sense rather than one of cosmic wonder. The magic of space is still acknowledged, with sparkling sound effects and dreamy twinkles throughout the album. Upon trying to learn more about the band, I found the ‘about’ section on BMR’s website simply took you to a clip of Mad Max 2, so I guess that’s all we need to know.

The first track, "Astral Silence", is anything but quiet. The combination of the pounding snare drum and sweeping guitar riffs. The opening track gives the listener a taste of what’s to come, drawing on all of the elements that make the album great, its quiet and suspenseful, and also loud and thrashy, with the guttural vocals piercing through the already harsh sound. The drums carry a very natural sound, particularly in the bass drum. The tone of the guitar fits the concept of the album, sounding very alien and mechanical at times, especially when combined with the blasting on the ride bell of the drums, gives the music a robotic, unhuman feel.

Track five, "The Mote in God's Eye," is a brilliant Black Metal song. A patient, gloomy riff harking back to the Nineties sound, and a relentless double pedal beat throughout. SXUPERION's vocals are also darker, low growls fading into the music, and a surprising but welcome higher pitched scream. Capped off with hymnal chanting and guitar feedback, it’s where the album embraces its ‘Blackened’ side.

"Forever and Ever", is an Epic finale, staring deep into the void of space and growling. Instruments drop out in the mid-section, and we are left floating in suspense, a cosmic soundscape for company. This lull is shattered by the immense drums, like a Supernova. The song ends with a steady Sludgy Doom section, before once again transporting the listener into the eerie soundscape of the Cosmos once again.

I have craved good Cosmic spacey Death Metal since BLOOD INCANTATION's "Hidden History of the Human Race," and "Auscultating Astral Monuments" scratches that niche itch in my metalhead brain. The deep guttural vocals, the intense relentless drumming, the sweeping spacey chords, I listen to this, and I want to moshpit whilst floating through space. Somehow. An amazing release I cannot recommend enough.

Songwriting:  8
Musicianship:  8
Memorability:  9
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Astral Silence
2. Eyes of Gangkhar
3. Ophanim Mechanical Drive
4. Irreverential Cisterns
5. The Mote in God's Eye
6. Licentious Arbitrator
7. Initiative Reactor
8. Philotic Astrogation
9. Forever and Ever
Lineup:
Lord Sxuperion – All
Record Label: Bloody Mountain Records
     


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