SIDEREAN – Sidereal Evolution (2020)REVIEW

Who is more fit to decide what follows any perceived apex of creation than those raptured into the void beyond its height? The unintended cosmonaut and the spurned explorer yet pulls from the known in reach of the unreal, gathering their own pinnacle from equal points meditation and vengeance. It is he lost in the stars that will evolve beyond stated norms and perceived progress, the lucid hierophant — Ahead in time, ancient in curse. A decade of Teleport was enough, by cosmos or corporeal interference the umbilical severance from name and their brilliant too-long formative years along with it, the body is reborn as Siderean. What comes beyond is not entirely divorced from the past but only in the sense that their latest tape, ‘Sidereal Evolution‘, is the necessary step beyond the physical forms of ‘The Expansion’ unto a more ethereal craftwork. Arrive beyond that decade-long warp and bask in the summoning sickness of transmuted flesh, kiss the horrifying vacuum of the void.

Rather than dig into the history of this Ljubljana, Slovenia based band under their previous name it’d make sense to at least acknowledge that the name change was of necessity due to disputes over the Teleport name with at least one former band member. The band has stated as such and the decision is a totally reasonable solution to avoid making an issue bigger than it needs to be. That said, Teleport had made quite a name for themselves in the underground death (tech-thrash) metal spheres this last decade and this means this new material is highly anticipated. In most respects any description of ‘The Expansion‘ (2018) is going to fit what Siderean are doing because the line-up is more or less the same sans their prior guitarist/vocalist but that doesn’t mean they are the same band at all, only that sci-fi themed ‘old school’ progressive death metal with technical thrash metal influences is yet the heart of their compositions. The major difference here is that the band now takes their style further in the death metal direction, placing this sound in the realm of bands like Execration, Morbus Chron, and especially Obliteration.

This ‘Sidereal Evolution’ tape is a smart idea for the sake of introducing the band’s new name and considerable shift in focus, allowing some space between an impending full-length and what is probably a well-considered embrace of change. As a longtime fan of Teleport from their early technical thrash metal days towards more of a Cryptic Shift sort of prog-death/thrash edge I have to say I’d originally figured this demo/EP would just be the same thing under a new name, in fact the suggested transformation via evolution is strikingly achieved. “Eolith” is the pillar of considerable thought here, a nine and a half minute piece that features a celestial stew of atmospheric death, progressive leaps, space-faring grinds and furious slashes of technical thrashing mania. Of particular note on this song is the expressive range of vocalist Jan Brišar who has much more than a growl in hand, lending considerable narrative madness and evocative recording techniques to this key piece in introduction of Sidereal. Around the 5:30 minute mark the song takes a break a la Morbus Chron‘s ‘Sweven’, easing into a swaying and clean-plucked elevation that informs the riffs that follow. You’d think the full transformation had been revealed there yet “Sidereal Evolution” is equally vital in widening the eye to the whole picture, the tightened focus of the band upon these “astral death metal” forms. If “Eolith” is the journey to a new realm then “Sidereal Evolution” is the mind-rending hallucination resultant where we hear some signature strikes of technical death/thrash riffs and even more of the vocalist’s range.

The ~17 minute presentation of these two songs side-by-side feels entirely successful as a “best foot forward”, a very bold whiff of the project’s strengthened and “freed” sense of movement beyond the past. For my own taste the slightly raw sound of the tape is appropriate and texturally satisfying, sharp enough clarity and plenty of space without anything muddy, buried or blurred. The bass guitar’s presence could be more pronounced in a couple of sections of “Eolith” but this might wipe away some of the ascending horror of the first half of the piece. Whatever comes next for Siderean I am a thousand percent on board, a very high recommendation.

Very high recommendation. (95/100)

Rating: 9.5 out of 10.
TITLE:Sidereal Evolution
TYPE:Demo/EP [Cassette]
LABEL(S):Edged Circle Productions
RELEASE DATE:October 16th, 2020
BUY & LISTEN:Bandcamp [All Formats]
GENRE(S):Progressive Death Metal,
Death/Thrash Metal

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