The hits just keep on coming in 2018! Now comes Soul Dissolution with their new album Stardust. This is incredible atmospheric black metal from Belgium in a similar vein to Harakiri for the Sky. It combines atmospheric black metal with post-metal songwriting to deliver large and sweeping epic tomes about life and the afterlife.

The best part of this is how much the music matches the lyrics to create an incredible overwhelming emotional connection. The music is very heavy and dark but somehow also creates very uplifting melodies. Much of the lyrical content is about what happens to the spirit after the death of the body. While that could seem like a very dark place to go, Jabawock and Acharan of the band put what I think is a positive spin on it much like Carl Sagan in his Cosmos series: we are all made of stars, and to the stars we must return.

The lyrics to “Far Above the Boiling Sea of Life” play this whole idea out. The narrator talks about “slowly falling up” and “the sky becom[ing his] world.” During this time, the narrator reflects upon the life down below: “It all seems so vain now/Hearts broken over forged desires/Minds destroyed by fabricated ambitions/A game where everyone loses at the end”.  In the end, the narrator realizes all of this and accepts his transcendence by asking the listener to take life’s grief and frustrations from him so he may become lighter to reach the stars. Meanwhile, the music is creating that urgent sense of lifting. The guitar is building driving melodies while the drums and bass are pushing on, creating a wondrous sense of ascendance. By the end of the song, you feel closure. It may seem like this is a depressing thought, but really it’s the feeling of achieving a goal and a kind of enlightenment.

2018 has given us a lot of great new music to listen to. I have personally listened to a lot of new atmospheric black metal this year that I absolutely love. Soul Dissolution is now a band I will be looking for in the future, and Stardust will most certainly be on my best of the year list at the end. It’s out now, so go check it out and join me in the cosmos.

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