Crate Diggin’: TSTAT – I Die Smiling
Confession: The Sun Through A Telescope’s I Die Smiling is one of my favorite records from 2013. It’s right up there with Gorguts’ Colored Sands, Inter Arma’s Sky Burial, VHOL’s self titled record, and Pusha T’s My Name Is My Name.
You might be thinking, well NegroD this is crazy how can you like this album as much as Colored Sands?!?!?! I really think it is that good. (You may also be thinking why does Joe keep letting this dude post on his website?!?! Cash Rules Everything Around ToH.). I have spread the gospel of I Die Smiling to anyone that would listen; I harassed esteemed members of our community like W., Tyree, Max, and more about this album. I’ve heard nothing but positive feedback about it. I have a certain amount of pride about this album, since I discovered it off the beaten path. You know, like this is my album. I found it. I suppose after this post I will have to put this beast to rest and find another ace for my sleeve.
I love everything about this album, from it’s Sean Penn version of Bad Boys style cover, to the track titles (with titles like You Can’t Kill Me and Everyday Is Like Black Hole Svnday), to the samples employed throughout the record, to the music. The music! On I Die Smiling, TSTAT plays a variety of metal and experiments with a variety of sounds and noise. He plays some chunky, active guitar and drum passages in between softer acoustic passages and noise passages. This album benefits from terrific sequencing. There isn’t a dull moment on here. TSTAT should also be praised for his vocal performance; he does cult like spoken word, hollow sounding bellows, more traditional metal screams, and even soaring operatic Clean Singing.
I don’t know much about the man behind The Sun Through A Telescope, one Lee Neutron. He hails from Ottawa, Ontario, and is the sole member of this drone and doom project. I admit I have a soft spot for one man / woman metal projects. It’s impressive when someone plays every instrument and sings on an album, does the studio work, let alone on an album as compelling as this one. If underground music exists on the internet, this is it. As far as I can tell it appears in 4 Bandcamp collections. (It’s not as underground as something like Bone Awl, which I can find next to nothing about).
This album is a bizarre and brilliant masterpiece. It’s strange, original, and dare I say, a bit graceful. It is a must listen for all fans of extreme and heavy music. Put on some headphones or turn up your sweet home stereo and get lost in this one for awhile.
I can never put into words how much I love you. You’re everything to me. You were my life I lived to see you smile. Those animals killed you. They’re evil animals and they killed you and I blame ’em for your death… and all for you morons, infidels, and fools that think I had anything to do with it, go to Hell! Go to Hell! I loved my wife more than any man could love his wife on the face of the Earth. I’d have died for her. I took care of her she was my life. I didn’t do anything but love her and for all you sick sons of bitches that think I had anything to do with her life, go to Hell!