Starless Domain - Eos

1 song
60:39 minutes
***** **
Pacific Threnodies / Black Horizons


Three black metal artists from the USA, who also happen to play in other bands together, have decided to found yet another project called Starless Domain. In the first half of the year, they have released already two longplayers, each consisting of one mega-long track. I got my hands on their debut Eos from January this year, and its hour-long alternation between fierce black metal onslaughts and meditative ambient parts is definitely from out of this world. That might be why the trio calls their music deep field black metal, referring to astronomical deep field photographs where the camera has a very long exposure time to reveal details otherwise invisible to the naked eye.

It seems to be as if Eos consists of three movements, each of which comes with four sub-movements, separated by ambient parts. After repeated listening, you will discover a three-note leitmotif recurring throughout the album. The slow parts are truly beautiful, and give you the necessary respite between the harsh black metal parts where the three musicians are screaming wordlessly over a cacophony of guitar, bass, programmed drums and lots of synthesizers. Concentrated listening will let you unravel the little secrets that make up this deep field recording, but so much is happening at once that it is not always easy accessing the individual parts in this very dense music. Maybe a little refinement of the production, although it would have made the album possibly less underground, would have also rendered it slightly more accessible.

In some ways, what Starless Domain remind me of a black metal version of what cosmic music is to electronic music. There is a definite sense of scale, reminding us how tiny we are in the ever-increasing expanses of the universe. Eos is an album that I hated it at first, but perseverance allowed me to decrypt what is happening here. Not for the faint of heart, this agoraphobic behemoth will allow you to listen to black metal the way you may never have done before.

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