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STARSCAPE - “Colony” - (Stormspell, 2021, Östersund, Sweden)

Posted on the 20 April 2021 by Ripplemusic
STARSCAPE - “Colony” - (Stormspell, 2021, Östersund, Sweden)

I won't make any bones about the fact that I love science fiction. Sure, I dig horror, but sci-fi, especially the older stuff is legend to me. No one's been able to show me a movie I worship more than "2001:A Space Odyssey." They've been trying since 1968, and it hasn't gone very well. Neither has anyone's attempts to get a book past my #1 ranking of the same. Sir Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov, James Blish (erotic sci-fi, anyone?), Pournelle/Niven, etc., these were the guys who dominated my early library lists. Is it any wonder, then, that one of my favorite albums is SACRED BLADE's "Of The Sun + Moon (1986)? The late Jeff Ulmer somehow managed to combine MERCYFUL FATE & HAWKWIND with a sweeping interstellar landscape. Not doing a shabby job at mixing space rituals with metal either have been DBC's "Universe" album or a long line of VÖIVOD releases that all sit proudly on my shelves.

So, when I began seeing mention of a Swedish metal duo called STARSCAPE about to grace the galaxies with a 2021 release called "Colony," it had my attention. Song titles like "Not Built By Human Hands," "Colony" & "Structures" had me thinking 2 things, as I ordered the CD (sight unseen & sound unheard):1) This 2-piece band wasn't gonna sound like the damn WHITE STRIPES & 2) When's the damn thing coming in the mail? 🙂

See, I was anxious because just reading about this album, it seemed different. Not another SAB-clone, not the next KYUSS rip-off, nah, this had the feel of "something different," something that would stand out. And it does.

First track, the 8-minute "Pilgrim Of The Stars" and I'm already in love. It just continues on through "Interstellar," the title song & beyond. I hear all sorts of stuff mirrored here, from the aforementioned SACRED BLADE to MANILLA ROAD to OMEGA's 1985 album "The Prophet." For a current comparison, you could go to HÄLLAS, although while they're surely influenced by prog, STARSCAPE is a decidedly more metal affair. The perfect distillation of all of this happens in the 10+ minute finale, "Towards The Unknown." What an epic!

The main sticking point I've seen here in reviews have been the vocals, which are mid-range, extremely dramatic and, what could understandably be called quirky. To me, however, this "quirkinesses" is positively engaging & something that draws me into this music even more. It lends itself to the songs and emphasizes the fact that this is easily one of my favorite (& most original) albums of 2021. Colonists, climb aboard! Sir Arthur C. Clarke is already at the helm!


Per-Olof Goransson - communicative devices

Anton Eriksson - navigational instruments

https://starscapemetal.bandcamp.com/ Stormspell.bigcartel.com

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