22 March 2018

Soul Dissolution - Stardust

To be remembered by a band is something that I'm always surprised about/am very honoured about.  Mainly because I find it miraculous that people read anything that my dyslexic arse is writing, secondly because I still find it amazing that people read this.  But it's always an honour that is very humbling, especially when you've been following an artist/bands activities on Facebook like a fan/stalker/obsessed freak (delete as applicable).  One such band who I've done this with is Belgium based act, Soul Dissolution.  Back in July 2016, I reviewed their debut record Pale Distant Light (you can read my review here).  That album one of those records which I could listen to any time of day, even in I was not in the mood and it turned up on my player, it just hits the spot each time.  Since I've last encountered them, Soul Dissolution hasn't let the grass grow under their feet.  They have been working on their second full-length record, which is going to be released on March 25th, 2018.  They're also gearing up for making their live debut and have a live line up as a five piece!  As per tradition, their studio work is still down to the core duo of Jabawock (All music and additional vocals) and Acharan (Lead vocals) with drums being provided by Forge Stone.  The idea of seeing this band live excites me a lot, but what about Stardust, how has this turned out?

01 - Vision

This is your standard atmospheric introduction, low synth keys and guitars that start off quiet and build towards a natural introduction to the first song proper.  It completes this job admirably and it doesn't outstay its welcome.

02 - Circle of Torment

From the opening discord, “Circle of Torment” instantly grabs your attention as it heads down into a melodic metal path that was formerly owned by Agalloch.  This is not saying that Soul Dissolution are copying the former titans of shoegazing metal, but the similarities between the bands are huge.  As is the originality and size of “Circle of Torment”.  The sound is massive, the riffs are methodical and precise, the vocals sound like a wounded animal fighting for its life, the drums are fantastic – basically, this is all I would want from a melodic metal number and more, this is a wow moment.

03 - Stardust

“Stardust” pick up where “Circle of Torment” left off!  With a faster d-beat pace and frantic guitars, the title track of the album is an energetic ball of energy.  It doesn’t let up for one iota, you are being dragged along for the journey and I couldn’t be happier at this point.  It has all the massive sounds of “Circle….”, I could go on about the instruments, but see the last song review. The best part though, this comes when it drops down in pace towards the end, at this point business really picks up.  This is a song which can make the hairs on my neck stand on end, it’s another song which I adore.  This is turning out to be a great album so far, hopefully, I’ve not spoken too soon.

04 - Mountain Path

Much like “Vision”, “Mountain Path” is an atmospheric introduction.  It does exactly what it should and then it’s onto the next song.

05 - The Last Farewell

“The Last Farewell” starts off once again with an atmospheric introduction, then it is back onto the frantic, clawing riffs, deep and low bass, howling vocals and amazing drumming!  To discuss this in words seems inappropriate and it deserves much better than my mad ramblings.  Basically, this is the pinnacle of Stardust, the crowning glory of the album and it’ll be the highlight of their sets!

06 - Far Above the Boiling Sea of Life

Soul Dissolution shows no sign of taking it easy on “Far Above the Boiling Sea of Life”.  If anything, the fact they are approaching the end seems to make them more volatile and dangerous at the beginning of this finale.  Around the three-minute mark, it slows down slightly, but this is only a rest bite before they pick up the pace once more.  They keep up that manic pace till the bitter end, never giving up, never hitting the fade button and finishing Stardust on another high point.

Stardust is a stunning record, a beautiful piece of art that is as important to me as the last Mogwai album.  It breaks through Black Metal and Post Metal, creating one of the biggest statements so far in 2018.  You don't have to be a fan of either genre to appreciate how good this record sounds, it's that damn good.  If I had to describe it to someone, I would compare it to a fight between Agalloch, Mogwai and Explosions in the Sky, with Exxasens acting as referee.  Basically, it’s the best of both Post and Black Metal in one album.  There are no problems with the length of the album, the intro tracks are great, all the songs are amazing!  What Soul Dissolution have done here, is releasing one of the best records of 2018 so far.  I cannot praise Stardust enough, it's just a powerful and wonderful statement of intent and purpose.  When this comes out on March 26th, I'll have already pre-ordered it.  If Soul Dissolution comes to the UK, I'll travel to see them.  Pre-order/purchase (depending on when you read this) now!  You’ll regret it if you don’t do it!

10 out of ten - This is proof there is a deity

Top track - The Last Farewell

You can pre-order Stardust here.

You can follow the activities of Soul Dissolution on Facebook here.

At the time of writing, Stardust was not available on streaming sites.  If this changes in the future, I’ll update the links here.

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