Well, this one drifted in like a billowing, ominous storm cloud over a torched horizon. It’s strange how every record I listen to for the first time puts me in a place, a time and a body – and that was the image that this new album from US one man project Starer conjured up immediately. Sitting merrily in a camp that bridges the harsh, angular swash of atmospheric black metal with the meandering paths of post-black metal, it finds itself alone at the fireside with no friends and no one to talk to – and that is, in no way at all, a bad thing.

Opener ‘First Morning Light’ is a panoramic affair that seeps through with consummate ease before the record opens out into darker, more threatening fenlands on tracks such as ‘Son Of The Fire’ and ‘Umbra’, yet it is the final track ‘Uncovering’ where the grains of ’18° Below The Horizon, are filtered away and the clarity of all that it sets out to be shimmers in the light of a pale evening moon.

To achieve something breath-taking is not impossible but is a long way from a walk in the park. There are no parks here and there are no people. There is just you and the landscape – where all you can do is stare and feel infinitesimally tiny. Yes, this record is not alone in setting out to achieve this – but we must progress and the sounds that we invest our time in must be a journey and, I would suggest, this record is a very important part of it.


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