Stargazer - Gloat / Borne
Nuclear War Now! Productions
Progressive Black/Death Metal
12 songs (35' 27")
Release year: 2019
Nuclear War Now! Productions
Reviewed by Andy

Prolific Australians Damon Good and Denny Blake, whom readers may know better from Mournful Congregation and Cauldron Black Ram, last produced a Stargazer album with 2014's A Merging to the Boundless. Since then the project has been pretty quiet, but this past year they released a compilation of their first demo and first EP -- respectively known as Gloat and Borne --, plus a few unreleased early tracks.

As expected from a 90s-era demo of a death metal band, the Gloat tracks are pretty rough. They were recorded live on a cassette recorder, making them probably of more interest to serious fans than anyone else, but they do capture a good deal of energy. The band hasn't quite come into their own yet at the time of this recording, and tracks like Totalitarian Wormholes or Conspirator's Wind still hew pretty closely to traditional black and death metal styles, though in their restless changes in tempo you can detect hints of the progressive chaos of future offerings, especially in their previously unreleased demo of Ride the Everglade of Reogniroro, which ended up on the Borne EP.

Borne was released only a year later, but in addition to the much better production, the band started making ever more intricate compositions. Abstract Flames Burn White is an order of magnitude wilder riffing-wise than anything found on Gloat, and Ride the Everglad of Reogniroro, with proper production, really shines here; on this version of the recording, the inventiveness of Blake's riffing is a lot more apparent. The final track before the outro, Final Winter Kiss, is another unreleased track, a much colder and less differentiated track than its predecessors that owes more to the band's black metal influences than their later hybrid approach. Casual listeners to Stargazer will probably appreciate the later tracks more, since those aren't quite so rough production-wise, but it made sense from the point of view of the project's evolution to show how fast their sound evolved.

Bandcamp: https://nuclearwarnowproductions.bandcamp.com/album/gloat-borne.

Killing Songs :
Ride the Everglade of Reogniroro, Abstract Flames Burn White
Andy quoted no quote
Other albums by Stargazer that we have reviewed:
Stargazer - A Merging to the Boundless reviewed by Andy and quoted 83 / 100
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