Soul Dissolution – Stardust Review

Band: Soul Dissolution
Album: Stardust
Label: Black Lion Records
Genre: Atmospheric Black Metal
Country: Belgium
Release Date: 25 March, 2018

Every so often in this shipwreck we call life a glimpse of something shiny comes along, and for just a moment makes our existence is a little better. Even if for 38 and a half minutes. Soul Dissolution brought us Stardust with this intention as they recreated from the ground up a style of music maybe a bit easier on the ears than its predecessors of the genre. Sadly, this is not those life altering 38 and a half minutes, but I would be a liar if I claimed to hate it. I like it a lot. My problem is that our black metal record should have been something else. Take a listen, you will see what I mean.

Six tracks on Stardust, the one-man-band project by Soul Dissolution. 38:31 on the clock. Lets get started.

Vision comes first with orchestral waves of synth that showcase a musical progression used through the entirety of the record. Can crescendo be used to describe something other than an increase in sound? It is a fitting term for this piece as is builds from a soft swell into an ambitious chant of sound that is almost atmospheric. Is it metal? No. Is it brain-melting heavy? Definitely not. It’s just pretty.

Circle of Torment is where our money spent on the record starts to be worth it as we are hit with a four bar riff that is so crunchy you will have to swallow in between each bite. This fuzzy bitch of a riff remains the driving force of this track as it is almost never changes for the first half other than to allow some basic ass drum groove to overtake it here and there. Around 5 minutes in is where we really get a taste of where Soul Dissolution are heading with this anthem. Honestly, I’ve taken shits heavier than this song but goddammit I like it. Vocals are so well executed and timely that it is almost a shame they are so low in the mix. Keep your technical expectations low with this song, but lay under the stars and enjoy the hell out of this simple yet catchy metal tune that lasts long enough to satisfy at almost 10 minutes.

Stardust is not only on the cover but also where we lose a bit of the musical drive needed for a title track. I say this because it’s a bit shorter, easier to listen to than Circle of Torment while being more lyrical. Reverberated vocals are at the forefront in this track. That is until about halfway through when the bass accompanies the groove in a way that changes the pace entirely. Almost so well that I forgot about how weak the first act in the song was. Listen to Stardust for the good head bang, but skip to 4:20 for the real speaker blowers.

Mountain Path is an intro into the last half of the record whether we needed it or not. Footsteps takes us on the path up the mountain, where we find a completely different set of songs than track 2 and 3.

The Last Farewell is almost punk in its structure and has a really interesting concept in how a track should be broken into pieces to tell a story with the atmosphere it creates. There are sections in this arrangement that are darker than my black empty soul, only to be followed by uplifting lead and rhythm progressions that show a glimmer of hope into my lonely and wretched existence. This is a decent earworm you are getting with Last Farewell.

Far Above the Boiling Sea of Life is an expression of the real pain in realizing that maybe Soul Dissolution would make a great fucking emo band. It’s too bad he recorded an entire record for a black metal label only to show us in the final two tracks that he can really express some good emotion and feels better suited for some angst-filled indy label. Anyways, these last two numbers were head over tits more instrumental than the artist gave us at the start while keeping us in metal land.

All in all, we have a good record here. Nothing breaking the mold or changing some sad 15 year olds life in Nowhere, Indiana. But we have a solid foundation for Soul Dissolution to build from to eventually create something great. This album gets a 6 out of 10. Would be a 7 out of 10 if the engineer didn’t boost the mid-range EQ so damn much.

Rating: 6/10

1. Vision
2. Circle Of Torment
3. Stardust
4. Mountain Path
5. The Last Farewell
6. Far Above The Boiling Sea Of Life

Total Playing Time: 38:31

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