01. Through The Crystal Portal 02. We Only Saw The Shadows Of Life 03. Ancient Visitors 04. The Spinning Tomb 05. Obsidian Eyes 06. The Powers Of Suffering That Be 07. Apocalyptic Serenity 08. Let Us Descend
Veterans of the Swedish death metal underground, SARCASM first formed in 1990, split in 1994 and re-emerged in 2015 with a revamped sound and Hell's flames blazing in their eyes. Three albums later and it seems likely that "Stellar Stream Obscured" is exactly the record the band would have dreamt about making back in the day: epic, grotesque and steeped in the grand, grim traditions of MORBID ANGEL, DISSECTION and POSSESSED, it's also a ferociously contemporary piece of work.
"Through The Crystal Portal" may be the most unhinged album opener in recent memory. Spikily melodic, but relentlessly violent and willfully angular and obtuse, it's the kind of sonically punishing old-school riot that keeps the arcane metal flame burning through sheer force of belief. Likewise, "We Only Saw The Shadows Of Life" sounds like ten classic underground bands at once, but with the Swedes' militant delivery placing things firmly in the bloody here and now. Not content with sending a few thousand volts through death and black metal, SARCASM switch to ghoulish doom mode for "Ancient Visitors": a towering paean to the unfathomable dark, with acres of atmosphere.
Living up to its name, "The Spinning Tomb" is wild, hook-heavy death metal with a blastbeat heart and an evil thrash soul; "Obsidian Eyes" is a morbid but pitiless melodrama, with ornate, proggy embellishments adding dynamic oomph to a GRAVE-like barrage of riffs. Meanwhile, "The Powers Of Suffering That Be" brings hulking death doom riffs and a poisonous, blackened attack together in a shower of pitch-black sparks; while "Let Us Descend" is a richly malevolent curtain call, with a wickedly cinematic, instrumental overture giving way to a deliciously high octane and hostile black-thrash endgame. Every last second of "Stellar Stream Obscured" hits the target with a haughty, malicious flourish.
The band's previous three albums were all pretty damn good, but this is seriously fucking great: And I mean that sincerely.
BLABBERMOUTH.NET uses the Facebook Comments plugin to let people comment on content on the site using their Facebook account. The comments reside on Facebook servers and are not stored on BLABBERMOUTH.NET. To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).