There are two approached in black metal when it comes to “Space.” The first is to look at space with a sense of wonder and awe. There is usually a lot of ambient sounds mixed in with the black metal. The second way, and the one I’m beginning to prefer (I still love both mind you) shows space to be more dangerous, more sinister. “Open Cold Dark Matter” from Astral Silence is a perfect example of what the latter, a little subgenre I like to call cosmic black metal.
This album begins in the dark parts of space, the parts that don’t make for pretty pictures on NASA’s website, the parts of space that no light exists. There are stories there too, Astral Silence tells us, stories that we ought to be wary of. This is music that hangs around the black holes, courting doom with the true monsters of the universe.
Open Cold Dark Matter has a slow, cathedral like echo that sort of rolls through the music like a ripple effect sitting just beneath the sound of the music rather than overpowering it with lots of droning and feedback. This type of production elevates the music to a truly sinister level, there are nasty, evil things in outer space, hiding around the fringes. In place of ambient music and soundscapes, Open Cold Dark Matter uses a lot of droning feedback, giving the music a grim, scratchy sound that only adds to the message.
I can’t find anything wrong with this album. Every sound, every musical note is perfectly placed. The feedback and distortion are just right, accompanying the music rather than overpowering and drowning it out. It has the atmospheric echo that has been gaining lots of popularity these days but with an unearthly vibe to it, simply put Astral Silence has made it sound as though this music is coming from space to earth, not earth to space.
Open Cold Dark Matter shows a lot of progress from Astral Journey, the first album, the sounds are clearer and the musicianship has improved. Open Cold Dark Matter has a much clearer, streamlined message in the music, through better production and clearer vision from Quaoar, the man behind the entire project. Savor this album.
Listen and support!