Stargazer - Psychic Secretions
Nuclear War Now! Productions
Avantgarde Extreme Metal
8 songs (38' 41")
Release year: 2020
Nuclear War Now! Productions
Reviewed by Andy

For those who've followed the fortunes of Australia's StarGazer has witnessed a career arc beginning from its first steps as an extreme metal band in the 90s to a confidence and range of expression that only masters of their art can achieve -- given the . A Merging to the Boundless was excellent, and Psychic Secretions a worthy successor in its layered complexity.

One of the nice things about a StarGazer album is that you can never be sure of what you're going to get. Lash of the Tytans, after a smooth intro reminding me of early-90s progressive death metal, switches to high-speed bursts of riffing, tightly nailed together into a package with Denny Blake's leads. Evil Olde Sol, on the other hand, changes time signatures almost to the point of arrhythmia, with the bass leaping around the main tune like a killer whale surfing Arctic waves. Though the tracks explode into chaos in seconds, one is just as likely to find still, ringing passages of guitar echoing into a void.

The progressive arrangement of Psychic Secretions's tracks is tempered by their melodies, which are good throughout -- as long as one accepts that they're going to change at a moment's notice. This album eschews most of the blackened tremolo picking of A Merging to the Boundless in favor of furious riffing with a spare, clean attack; we get a lot of that riffing, and compared to the instrumental work, the vocals seem almost an afterthought sometimes, blending into the bass and guitar notes. Yet it too has a crucial part, providing a sense of lurking mystery and evil; on the last track, the vocals are clean, with operatic tragedy, for a few minutes of despairing grandeur, with a dull chanted choir ending the track over the slow crunch of the final riff. While it would be easy for a band like this to rest on its laurels, this album shows that they've still got plenty of new ideas.


Killing Songs :
Lash of the Tytans, Evil Olde Sol, All Knowing Cold
Andy quoted 88 / 100
Other albums by Stargazer that we have reviewed:
Stargazer - Gloat / Borne reviewed by Andy and quoted no quote
Stargazer - A Merging to the Boundless reviewed by Andy and quoted 83 / 100
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