Written by: Blackie Skulless
If this album cover doesn’t catch your eye immediately, then I don’t know what will. There’s so much to look at, just as there is so much to listen to with the debut Universally Estranged record. Entitled Reared Up In Spectral Predation, this is a (pretty obviously) space / sci-fi / alien themed technical death metal album with a drop of synthwave. Yes, you read that correctly, and thankfully it doesn’t try to be a combo of the two, rather it uses passages to join different ideas.
So it should go without saying that you’re going to be immersed in wildly fast and intricate strum and riff patterns with sporadic solos all over the place. Nothing we haven’t seen before, right? Well, somewhat. Universally Estranged is actually pretty left-field even for an already niche style. The synths aside, there’s an extra layer of cosmic flavors strictly from the guitar tones casting noisy auras crossed with crystal clear solo wankery. Neat as it sounds, I found it to be overwhelming.
Written by: The Administrator
When we're not locked in our drafty scriptorium, daily existence here at the Sleeping Village is inevitably beset by the type of backbreaking labor inherent to a (pseudo) medieval township. The grind is real, and, as such, an occasional dose of the weird and wonderful is a bit of a necessity. Hence, the promise of self-declared "space disco synth metal," courtesy of Alpha Boötis, seemed like a likely candidate for injecting a lil' excitement into mid-afternoon drudgery.
And boy, is it ever. I seldom write reviews immediately after consuming the music in question, but after jamming this two-track-plus-a-cover EP about eight times over the span of the past few hours, I feel somewhat moved to say my piece post-haste. Let's get to it.
Written by: The Administrator
While we Villagers pride ourselves in having a solid familiarity with the content we critique, I'll be the first to admit that my level of familiarity with the 5 tracks contained within today's EP in question surpasses an acceptable level of sanity. Typically, in preparation for an in-depth review, I listen to the material around 10 times. Return From The Void, in drastic comparison, has entered these wretch'd earholes...well, significantly more frequently. All told, stating that I've listened to this damn thing upwards of 50 times doesn't sound terribly off base.
Why, ye may ask? In the year or so since I first encountered the hard rockin' Deserts of Mars, I've become oddly dependent on their (regrettably slim!) output. Return From The Void is what I turn to when I'm not sure what to listen to, when I'm feeling a little down, or when I just need a quick kick of stoner rock into an otherwise hard-hitting playlist. As a result, I've entered a strange scenario wherein a review feels somewhat impossible to write. Can I truly view this thing from a passingly neutral standpoint, or does my history color any interpretation with rose-colored glasses? Given the potential limitations, I'll do my best to be fair to you, dear reader.
Written by: Loveloth
Gather 'round, everyone. Let me tell you a short story. Abdul Alhazred, like any foolish mortal, thought he could evade the cosmos' grasp. Many years ago, around 700 A.D., Abdul spent a decade studying ruins of ancient cities before disappearing into the desert. After his return, he spent his final days in Damascus, and it was there that he unveiled the cursed book--The Necronomicon. There laid information which should've remained hidden.
In 738, his punishment finally came; The Mad Arab disappeared without a trace and many wondered what was the reason behind, for they knew he dabbled with black magick and worshipped otherworldly beings. No one knows what exactly happened to him, but the book prevailed and got translated into Greek, Latin, German and eventually English. The whereabouts of the book and its copies are unknown and trust me, it's for the better. Whoever read its pages faced madness, death, or worse. That book is pure evil and I would advise you, dear reader, to not chase that knowledge so many before you have. But what do I know for I am just a mere mortal, just like you. Or am I?
Whatever the case, it seems the spirit of The Mad Arab lives on, and in this particular case, lives through Esoctrilihum.
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!