Stellar Void is an extreme symphonic metal band from Russia. I admit I had no prior knowledge of them before getting an email about reviewing this EP. However, it’s not often I get music this heavy sent through to me, or one from a non-English-speaking country, so I’m pretty excited to check it out. Without any more of an introduction, here is our review!
Wasting little time, opening track ‘Shifting Sands’ immediately slaps you in the face with a huge, heavy sound and blast beats. The orchestral instruments behind it do take the edge off a little, though, and give it an epic feel. It sounds even, menacing, and awesome. The low, guttural vocals come in for the verse, reminding me a lot of Danni Filths. That may be a running theme of this EP, just to warn you, Cradle of Filth comparisons. It’s definitely not just because they’re the main band in this kind of genre I actually listen to or anything… The vocals clean up a little for a surprisingly catchy chorus, and the female harmony layered into them was a great touch. The piano acting as a bridge was also great, adding a little lighter break before the heaviness comes back. I LOVE every time the vocals go into the duet, it makes it all surprisingly beautiful. The woman’s voice is powerful and low and fits the song perfectly. My only ever so slight issue is that it stops a little abruptly, no outro or anything, just suddenly ends after the final chorus. It was a great track from Stellar Void non the less, though!
The EP’s title track is up next, taking a slightly slower approach to begin with. The choir vocals behind the huge guitar chords sounded awesome and again gave everything an epic, sinister feel. When the heaviness kicks in and the speed picks up, the vocals are clean again. The harmony between the male and female vocals again contrasts perfectly together and fits awesomely with the heavy instrumentation backing them. The female vocal continues for a bit, getting a run to show off her insanely impressive higher range. There’s an awesome guitar riff that kicks in around the 2:30 minute mark, it being the only thing in the track for a few seconds so it’s easy to hear. The instruments do get a tad lost in the epicness and sheer number of them at times, so it’s good to hear them isolated every so often! The structure of the two songs so far has been a little all-over-the-place, it’s been hard to listen out for a chorus or verse, but if anything it adds to the epic charm of it all. It feels more like they’re telling a story than playing a song. A beautiful piano melody acts as the outro to another fantastic song!
‘The Oath’ opens on another face-punching riff, and one I love. It reminded me a little of Bullet for my Valentine’s ‘Your Betrayal’, only obviously heavier. The female vocal again takes the lead for this one, something I wasn’t expecting from the band so it’s a nice touch. It drops back to just the keys/synth and vocals around the two-minute mark. It sounds awesome and highlights the female vocal even more nicely. The metal instruments build back into it steadily, feeling like it is building up to something massive. That it does, too, as we get another awesome little guitar fill before a huge final chorus (?). This was great, and my favourite track on the EP. It makes the playlist!
The final track, ‘The Seer’, opens straight into a huge chorus, clean vocals and all. It’s again pretty catchy. The lead melody from the vocals, guitar, and strings added so much awesomeness to it all. The verse is even pretty clean and steady, though it is still heavy. Kudos to the drummer who I really haven’t mentioned enough in this review. They’ve been working overtime through this entire EP with some crazy blast beats and quick fills. The whole band is far more talented than I have been able to give credit for, they all just work so well together that it’s hard not to talk about it all as one combined piece. This was another epic track through and through. The orchestral outro made it the perfect choice to close out the EP with. The overall feel is something Stellar Void do so well.
Overall: This was really good! Going in completely blind made it a fun experience and meant that the band blew me away from a technical standpoint. It’s not a genre I would listen to a whole bunch personally so the structures and things still threw me off a bit, but after another few listens (which will definitely happen) it would probably set in a lot easier for me. Stellar Void has a new fan in me and I look forward to hearing how they develop their sound further in the coming years!
The Score: 7/10
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