I’m going to be super disappointed if one day we finally make contact with intelligent life on other worlds and they end up just being other humans like us. I’m prepared for other humanoids, but I want to them to be exotic and completely different from us. I probably won’t live to see this happen, so I’m not super worried about it, but it’s going to occur one day, and I hope it’s mind blowing (and that I’m still alive).
Newly formed death metal trio Labyrinth of Stars has intergalactic storytelling and examination at their core, and they splash that all over their devastating debut album “Spectrum Xenomorph.” Combining members of other metallic forces including Lantlos, Valborg, and Owl, the band—Markus Siegenhort aka AcidGhost Athereum (vocals, rhythm guitars, bass, synthesizer), Christian Kolf aka Invisible X-Star (vocals, lead & rhythm guitars, bass, keyboards), Dirk Stark aka Transcendent Architect Astralis (vocals)—creates black metal that’s furious, encompassing, and even industrial-leaning in many corners, always leaving room for your imagination to run wild as they dig into extraterrestrial terrain.
“Star Pervertor” feels like it tears in from light years away, delivering stomping that feels like it’s built from alien particles and industrial haze. The playing is piledriving, sinking a knife into the earth, vibrating amid total devastation. “Aethereal Solitude” starts with clean guitars that melt and grind away, pounding through muddy pools of hell. Voices swirl in the air as the playing gets more guttural, crushing hypnotically as it claims your mind. “Ancient Machines in Authority” explodes as the vocals sink in its teeth, trudging hard as you choke from the thick smoke cover hanging overhead. The chorus hits hard as the leads catch fire, a proggy feel twists your brain, and chilling synth leaves you encapsulated in ice. “Log Gamma – Orphan With An Abstract Face” is a quick interlude that sounds like it is delivering transmissions from galaxies far away, feeling frigid and isolated as you wander through the cosmos.
“Galactic Ritual” is devastating, pouring fire and multiplying the monstrous assault that’s coming right for your throat. The lava bubbles as it multiplies at dangerous levels, and the band turns on the burners, scorching and defacing as the cries demand, “Release me!” as things fade into dust. “Vacuum” opens with mechanical terror and power that punches into the crust of the earth. The playing melts into an atmospheric dream as clean trickles push like they’re trapped under ice, the howls reengaging the fury that’s a constant element of this record. “Dissolving Into the Eternal Nothingness” bleeds in and then trudges through blood and bone, the savagery wading in thick oceans of oil. The playing blisters and trudges, delivering dour spirits that slowly dissolve into the night sky. “Transmission Delta – Exile” is the 12:41-long closer that’s an extended ambient piece, one that’ll chill you to the bone. Bass plods as the sound vortex envelopes you, detaching you from reality and building pressure that feels like it’ll make your face explode and belch guts, rumbling into temperatures no human being could withstand.
“Spectrum Xenomorph” is a scintillating journey into worlds not visited by human beings where the darkness is impenetrable, the cold a physical prison. This first record from Labyrinth of Stars might be one that combines hefty forces from other metal projects, but this band is not pinned to any of those entities and exists as its own spirit. This is exciting, scary, and isolated, an album that’ll make you know fear but also adventure as you hurtle into black holes in your own mind.
For more on the band, go here: https://labyrinthofstarstl.bandcamp.com/
To buy the album, go here: https://translationloss.com/products/spectrum-xenomorph
For more on the label, go here: https://translationloss.com/