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Review: Bound by Entrails - The Stars Bode You Farewell
Bound by Entrails
The Stars Bode You Farewell

Label: Independent
Year released: 2012
Duration: 64:04
Tracks: 10
Genre: Black/Death

Rating: 3/5

Review online: December 5, 2012
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
The Stars Bode You Farewell

Rated 4.6/5 (92%) (5 Votes)

I'm seeing a lot of admiring reviews of this album, heralding this band as some kind of epochal outfit blazing new trails in metal. I have to say I don't really get that. This is ambitious, but does not come anywhere near achieving those ambitions, and The Stars Bode You Farewell ends up being interesting, but not masterful.

This is an different stripe of rather intricate extreme metal, taking a lot from the more keyboardy brands of commercial Black Metal and a bit from technical Death Metal - though there is no vestige of clickety-clickety going on here. This brings me to the album's main failing - the production. This band is aiming for a big, expansive, epic sound with these long songs and complex compositions, but the production is weak and muddy. Undoubtedly this is a DIY job, but with so little detail in the recording and a lack of separation and space in the mix, it can be really hard to hear what is going on. This album is meant to be big and involving, but the muddy mix keeps it at a remove.

Stellar songwriting can sail a band past a weak recording, but this band just throws too much paint at the wall. You get a hug mix of songwriting approaches, from heavy riffing to keyboard atmospherics to clean-sung acoustic parts. There's more than a little Opeth influence here, and that's always bad. These songs are listenable, but they never really come together as songs, and the album presents as one long work without any real emotional ups or downs, just a lot of parts stuck together. It's not bad, and is agreeable enough while it is on, but it leaves almost no trace when it is over.

Other related information on the site
Review: The Oath to Forbear and the Burden of Inheritance (reviewed by Tony Augsburg)
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