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Labyrinthus Stellarum - Vortex Of The Worlds review

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Band: Labyrinthus Stellarum
Album: Vortex Of The Worlds
Style: Atmospheric black metal
Release date: April 2024

01. Transcendence
02. Downfall
03. Interstellar Wandering
04. From The Nothingness
05. The Light Of Dying Worlds
06. Vortex Of The Worlds

If you think you've heard all that atmospheric black metal has to offer, it's time to give the lively and ethereal style of newcomers Labyrinthus Stellarum a go.

Hailing from Ukraine, Labyrinthus Stellarum’s newest album Vortex Of The Worlds features three musicians credited with vocals, guitars, and drum programming. Now, this last element might make some listeners a bit skeptical at first, as programmed drums can sometimes sound too fake and thus less impactful. But Labyrinthus Stellarum seem to use this to their advantage. Instead of trying to sound like every other atmoblack band with the standard tremolo-picking and blast-beat combo, they create a rather unique combination that includes proggy guitar leads, unconventional electronic beats, and dreamy synths.

They already introduced this style on their debut album Tales Of The Void from last year, which somehow managed to fly under my black metal radar. This time around, I'd say that they've taken a fiercer and more aggressive approach overall. While the debut provided several moments of patient ambience with some whispered or melodic clean vocals, Vortex Of The Worlds presents mostly fast-paced black metal that's supported by raspy, triumphant cries from the vocalist. Yet, staying true to their established style, Labyrinthus Stellarum infuse their sound with lots of melody and catchiness. The lead vocals are backed by some subtle choirs, as the soaring guitar-work and bouncy electronic instrumentation propel the listener on a trip through time and space, across sparkling galaxies and through colorful nebulae.

The ominous cover art seems to depict a monster of some Lovecraftian cosmic horror, and the lyrics describe cosmic chaos, the falling of stars, and the reign of darkness. Yet the music featured here inflicts far more fun than fear. While the vocals are in the form of harsh, enraged rasps, those keyboard arrangements add such a fresh flair, filling the whole composition with uplifting, engaging energy. In fact, very atypical of most black metal, the atmosphere is incredibly pleasant instead of bleak. Also atypical of most atmospheric black metal, Labyrinthus Stellarum are not overly indulgent, staying very concise with a total runtime of only 36 minutes, about 6 minutes shorter than on their previous album.

In conclusion, Labyrinthus Stellarum have crafted with Vortex Of The Worlds an immensely enjoyable musical experience. Incorporating electronic experimentation in their energetic meloblack, the Ukrainian band create beautiful and uplifting hymns despite the ominous lyrical theme. In a genre that can run the risk of losing steam or end up meandering aimlessly with overly long runtimes, Labyrinthus Stellarum offer a fresh blend of electronic black metal that keeps the listener thoroughly engaged within the entrancing atmosphere.

Written on 08.04.2024 by The sign of good music is the ability to both convey and trigger emotion.


Comments: 2   Visited by: 103 users
09.04.2024 - 11:17
Rating: 8
This album is a true triumph of originality in an already saturated genre. The compositions are truly beautiful (although sometimes last longer than they should). The mixing and production choices are also worthy of praise; the rhythms guitars have a synth-like quality , the drums have an industrial feel etc but everything serves their purpose. Overall, this album might end up being one of the best of 2024.
09.04.2024 - 11:28
Rating: 9
Fantastic album. These guys are prodigies.
So imminently visible - this cloaked innocent guilt
Sentenced to a lifetime, a second of structured chaos
Trampled by the ferocious, raging crowds of solitude
I'm the soil beneath me soaking up the sustenance of my own death.

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