StarGazer Merge Into The Voiceless On Stellar New Re-Up


Two years after blowing our puny primate brains with their 2014 release A Merging To The Boundless, Australia’s StarGazer have decided that wasn’t enough and are set to re-release their sprawling masterpiece without those pesky vocals interrupting the voices in your head.

If you weren’t with us around the listmania period at the end of 2014, during this lavatory’s pubescence, you may have missed this wondrous journey into the esoteric reaches of both the black and death sides of the extreme metal spectrum. If that includes you, then don’t fret, as you can revisit the awkward time before our tiled floors were strewn with the stray pubic hairs of countless visitors by rifling through the now thick thatch-like layer and checking out Jimmy’s in-depth review of StarGazer’s A Merging To The Boundless here. Perhaps you are one of those who already know all about the album’s jaw-dropping avant-garde approach coupled with intricate compositions and stylish musicianship, and are just wondering when we’re going to hear the follow-up release? Not just yet unfortunately. However, the band have just released an instrumental version of the entire album for us to revel in for the mean time, and surprise surprise…it still fucking rules.

This new instrumental version of the album, now titled A Merging To The Boundless: Void Of Voyce, is slated to be released through NWN Productions on vinyl from June 1st. Although, I did notice their bandcamp page says “releases May 1, 2017” but this might be for an (as yet) unmentioned digital version, or just a typo. Whatever the case, it’s given me an excellent reason to revisit this complex cerebral cosmos, where controlled clean cadences cascade quickly into quirky quarrelsome qualms which quiesce mere moments before a meteoric maelstrom seers the skyline, simultaneously scorching surroundings and alienating aimless alliterators. Sorry, I’ve just spun this thing for the third time in a row and have clearly descended into a babbling buffoon. However, should I be condemned to dwell in the throes of perpetual lunacy, at least I’ll have this amazing album as accompaniment.

As a side note, I’d just like to take this moment to mention how I think more bands should do this kind of thing. Many of my favourite bands/albums/songs are instrumental, and while I appreciate that the majority of people seem to prefer music with vocals attached, sometimes hearing the music on its own can give the listener a profoundly different experience. We’ve seen a few notable bands release instrumental versions of their albums as either bonus content or as downloadable content to coincide with the release of the album proper, but I would love to see more bands adopt this idea, especially within the confines of extreme metal. Call me a filthy poser (go on, I crave your dissatisfaction), but sometimes having this amazingly technical riffage or expertly crafted instrumentation totally drowned out with the sounds of some sub-par sewage sluicing or gutteral gurgling gets grating after a while. Now while I don’t have a problem with the original vocals on StarGazer’s album, I really appreciate being able to fully devote my concentration to following those labyrinthine riffs and the awesome tone of the forever wandering bass runs for the duration of the album.

From my perspective (albeit an outsider’s view), I don’t see what bands/labels have to lose releasing these versions. The music’s already recorded, does it significantly increase the production cost to mix? I’m sure one of you will know. If they’re worried some uninformed listener(s) might accidentally buy the vocal-less version and hate it, just stagger the release of the instrumental version. They don’t need to be printed to physical media to make revenue these days, drop a digital version online and get some easy money from fans who either didn’t enjoy the vocals much or the dedicated collectors who’ll undoubtedly buy both copies. I’m sure there’s some factors I’m overlooking here and would love to hear them in the comments section below. Also, which albums would you like to hear in their bare instrumental form? The first one that comes to mind for me is Demilich’s Nespithe. “Boooo”, I can almost hear you say…but thanks to the power of the internet, I can’t! See, maybe the vocal-less version of you is an improvement as well.

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