Stellar Death - Fragments Of Light
Self Financed
Atmospheric Space Ambiance (Instrumental)
8 songs (52:05)
Release year: 2021
Stellar Death
Reviewed by Ben

Stellar Death are an interesting instrumental band who are very "spacey" sounding. I don't mean that in the, "I'm spaced out, bruh," way nor do mean it in the Kevin Spacey man-boy love kind of way either. Rather, this band captures the feeling of the vast coldness of space and its interminable stretches of bleak emptiness. Stellar Death actually means stellar as in Interstellar, and this is a concept album based on Matthew McConaughey and his trip through a black hole in the Chode galaxy. Not really. But the "stellar" part in the name does refer to stars and not like some kind of glorious death in the sand while wearing sandals ala bad Power Metal.

Right off the bat I have to say that this is not what you might be expecting based on the description of "instrumental space based metal." This is definitely not in any way slanted towards the tech death spectrum. Stellar Death are heavily atmospheric and staunchly dedicated to their musical themes. There are practically no fast passages to be heard, no pounding double bass or gravity blasts, and there are really only a few spots that sound like actual metal guitar. Most everything is ambient and either has slow but meaningful guitar melodies and lead lines, or winds up cascading from the beginning into some kind of flourish. Opening up the album with The Astronomer, this almost tricks you into believing this might a typical metal album. This track has most of the "metal" moments on Fragments Of Light in it and even has jazzy sounding augmented chord stops played on clean guitar popping up here and there. It also shows the penchant the band has for taking the time to choose a song title that actually matches the music. For example, The Astronomer sounds like someone's mental pump up to do a space walk and have their ass hanging out over Jupiter or something. Betelgeuse is a somber guitar ballad but really does sound grand in scope, much like the star itself. Approaching The Singularity (alright alright alright) is pretty lengthy and is thematically based on being a giant build up type of song. Everywhere And Nowhere is another "almost metal" song. By that I mean there's actual distorted and upfront rhythm guitars. Much of the atmosphere is created through lots of sustained and contorting notes, similar to that of an oscillating spectrum wave. There's little islands so to speak of increased activity or a solo to signify the celestial landmarks that you pass by while traveling the cosmos I guess. Whatever they do, Stellar Death are almost as successful at creating pure atmosphere as Summoning are for their Tolkien worship.

Fragments Of Light is an album that is definitely outside of my normal listening habits. Again, I hesitate to call this metal. This really is very much Pink Floydian in nature and nothing at all like say Animals As Leaders. Because of the more relaxed sound and atmospheric vibe, this would also be more like that instrumental group that's in a bunch of movies, Explosions In The Sky but with less delay and not quite as many guitars. If you're looking for something a little outside the box, this might be something to check out. Especially if you're some kind of space head enthusiast.

Killing Songs :
The Astronomer, Critical Mass (That Which Cannot Be Contained), Endless, Everywhere And Nowhere
Ben quoted 74 / 100
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