The photograph that appears on the cover of Stardust, the new album by the Belgian black metal band Soul Dissolution, is beautiful, otherworldly, and haunting. You can imagine standing on that cold, craggy shore, gazing in wonder as the sea becomes illuminated by a column of celestial light, as if a window on the cosmos has been mysteriously opened and what was once inexpressibly distant has now been brought near.
It’s not the cover art alone that might make listeners feel a sense of wonder, or to become rhapsodic in their reactions to the album. The music has a similar effect, as you’ll soon discover: Today we open a window into Stardust’s own celestial vistas in advance of its March 25 release by Black Lion Records through our premiere of the album’s closing track, “Far Above the Boiling Sea of Life“.
Stardust is Soul Dissolution’s second album, following 2016’s Pale Distant Light. For those new to the ban, it consists of multi-instrumentalist and composer Jabawock (Ah Ciliz, L’Hiver en Deuil, Marche Funèbre) and principal vocalist Acharan (L’Hiver en Deuil). On this new album, session drums were performed by Forge Stone (Norse, Gods of Eden, ex-The Amenta).
Perhaps the most obvious reference point in listening to “Far Above the Boiling Sea of Life” is the late, great Agalloch. Working from a foundation of black metal, Soul Dissolution have incorporated elements of post-rock, as well as emotionally vibrant melodies, to create music that’s atmospheric as well as powerful.
At the beginning of the song and again at its finale, the music races in a gallop, propelled by rapidly hammering drum work and a surging riff with a melodic hook that’s razor sharp. An air of melancholy pervades not only these segments, but the entire song — although the shades of sorrow change — and the vocalists’ piercing acidic shrieks and livid cries can themselves be taken as expressions of agonizing pain and torment.
In between the song’s surging start and racing climax, the drum rhythm changes, the melody becomes perhaps even more wistful and sorrowing, and about halfway through, the band launch a hammering bass-and-guitar riff that’s a guaranteed head-mover (the bass tone here, by the way, is huge). The trilling lead-guitar lines in the song add still more textures, at times ethereal, and reaching crescendos that seem bright, almost hopeful, but still edged with the ache of longing.
Stardust was mastered at Audiosiege by Brad Boatright. It will be released by Black Lion on March 25 and you can pre-order it via the link below.
We hope you enjoy this song as much as we have… and as you listen, take a close look at the imagery in the YouTube clip, because it’s not static. Starlight seems to fall like rain and swirl like fog through those tall black forests….