Article By: Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker ‡ Edited By: Leanne Ridgeway
France’s stoner-tinted, progressive metallers STARMONGER return with the latest example of their ongoing musical evolution, the two-song ‘Revelation IV‘ EP.
I was first introduced to the band – Steve (bass and vocals), Arthur (guitar), and Seb (drums) – by means of their preceding 2018 EP, ‘Revelation III‘ [review]. Back with a fourth installment, the trio self-produced this latest fuzz saturated, the two-track phenom of flowing audio currents possessing immersive vocals.
PR details that accompanied the pair of compositions revealed these STARMONGER songs are intent on “…exploring the depths of the oceans and the mysteries of the astral plane.” I translate such to imply meaning from one end of the general spectrum to the other, a juxtaposed comparison of most likely contrasting items, whatever they may be. In this case, they are the first song “Rise Of The Fishlords” and the second song, “Lethe“.
I fully dig the subtle intro that invites us into “Rise Of The Fishlords“, a whale call from afar, and a, or what sounds like, Hammond organ noodles around. Cue the guitar! A wailing lick takes us headlong into a tumult of chunky riffs as the combined bass and drums provide depth charge-worthy rhythms. Stutter-stepped grooving gets locked in and from there the vocals are carried aloft myriad timing and intensity changes. There is little doubt that a song such as this comes from inspired listenings to bands like Baroness or later era Mastodon.
As suspected, there is a radical one-eighty in everything, as the tranquil beginnings of “Lethe” waft their way upon the airwaves. From there, rises in momentum by means of slight aggressing before quickly tapering off for the song’s ardent vocalizing. Sometimes a bit bluesy, others a bit jazzy here and there, while more passages exude a dense state of a defined heavy metal nature.
STARMONGER renders an altogether mesmerizing and enthralling effort with their latest, to be sure. With an ample amount of headier, fervent fuzz, offset with plentifully abundant crunch, ‘Revelation IV‘ is aquatically oriented finesse. Discover this for yourself by streaming the EP in this review or set sail over to Bandcamp where it is also streaming and currently available as an NYP (Name Your Price) download.