REVIEW: Stellar Master Elite - III: Eternalism - The Psychospherical Chapter


I'm no stranger to space-based Metal acts. The ether, stars, planets, infinite unknown, and beyond are prime subjects for the dark and despairing - the ideas always draw at least my curiosity. The execution of most, however, sometimes leans in the direction of overtly typical: zippy sound effects, cheap synth, and cheaper lyrical content. If I was to make a list of some of the most ridiculous lyrics I've ever heard, they'd mostly comprise of space-themed bands. STELLAR MASTER ELITE, though, really takes it all a step back and adopts 'space' more as if it was still in the belief system of the early 1900's - where it was the basis of nightmares, cosmic terror, and fearful psychological woes. Granted, these guys still know that the content almost requires a campy edge, though the whole album is essentially a blackened doom project, even if it's nothing more then some 80's sci-fi inspired pads here and there.

III: Eternalism - The Pyschospherical Chapter, I suppose, is the third part of a album trilogy that quickly grew into a space-horror epic of sorts. Unlike most bands which adopt this subject matter, who often incorporate a lot of industrial influences, STELLAR MASTER ELITE goes in a completely different direction with a slow, meticulous, doom sound. The most blackened aspect of the whole thing is a few select passages but for the most part it seems the band grew into a different sound as their album series progressed. And, what that essentially means is: long songs. III loves long songs,with the lengthiest being a second short of fifteen minutes (the title track)! Ambiance pervades every corner of these tracks, the low tuned and sustain laden songwriting almost taking a back seat to atmosphere. It's such a stark difference from STELLAR MASTER ELITE's previous albums, which were far more active, that you'd easily think it was a completely different band altogether. Especially since the band now uses it's vocal style for

There is one fatal flaw with this release, however. For all its interesting concepts, atmosphere, and uber-doom length - it really is a double edged sword. The pace sometimes feels artificial, whereas it feels like a track or two was meant to be much faster but then someone just slowed the tempo down to the speed of a snail. It does work, but sometimes there are massive gaps of space and such slow, simple progression that you can't help be feel a little bored. However, the creativity and darkness of the album as a whole outweighs these few down-moments and you still want to see where the whole thing leads.

For a massive experience, not just a collection of angry or weird songs, you'd better believe that III is the album you want to listen to. No matter if you listen to it as a enormous chunk of sci-fi themed doom, or songs individually to make them a tad easier to digest, you are getting something unique and frightening as hell (or space).