Auscultating Astral Monuments

The ever productive Matthew Schott is back with another Sxuperion album, that’s 6 in 6 years, along with a few splits and Eps as well his output in Garden of HesperidesValdur and Oreamnos. I reviewed 2019s Endless Spiritual Embodiment but never got around to covering 2020s Omniscient Pulse, (Sorry Matt, I’ll blame covid). However, I don’t think that matters as at this point in Sxuperion’s discography I can cut and paste the reviews. And I mean that in a good way.

A more black, cosmic, sci-fi-themed version of Valdur is where this project still lies. And now fully ascended into the cosmos with song titles like “Ophanim Mechanical Drive”, “Irreverential Cistern” and “Licentious Arbitrator” ( as opposed to the likes of “Satanic Idol Whoreship” and “Inverted Goat Orifice” from the early releases), the murky dissonance is a little more theoretically celestial than his other projects.

But like his other projects, Auscultating Astral Monuments is a dense, discordant listen with nothing memorable or catchy, just pure otherworldly filth injected with a few fitting moments of ambiance (ie “Initiative Reactor”). And while it can be generally said, most spacey/cosmic metal has a bit of celestial elegance to it, Auscultating Astral Monuments is the deep, dark unknown blackness. Tracks like standouts “The Mote in God’s Eye” and “Philotic Astrogation” (which has haunting angelic vocals), deliver a crippling, ritualistic sci-fi cacophony that isn’t an easy listen, especially with Schott’s distant howls and shrieks and growls forever present.

A surprisingly expansive number, the 5 minutes “Forever and Ever” ends the succinct 33-minute affair with the album’s most ‘listenable’ song, being a little more doomy and atmospheric, but still, the overall seraphic nausea is still strong and Sxuperion remains a very niche listen.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
August 5th, 2021


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