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Arcane Voidsplitter : Voice Of The Stars

Stijn van Cauter returns with a perfect package of cosmically-influenced Ambient Funeral Doom.

As far as I understood it, Stijn van Cauter wasnít making much in the way of music nowadays so imagine my surprise when Arcane Voidsplitter's 'Voice Of The Stars' was posted to me to review, and I saw that it was one of his many projects! I donít know Stijn van Cauter personally but when it comes to music, heís one of my favourite artists because we seem to be in synch with one another mentally, if I can put it that way, so to say that I was excited to hear this release was an understatement. Basically, what he classes as good music appeals to me too, and Iíve yet to find an exception from all of his many projects in spite of the diverse styles adopted ranging from Until Death Overtakes Me to Catnoms For Fluffy to The Sonitus Ignotus Ensemble. Suffice to say that my expectations were high because of this similar musical preference, and I was not disappointed.

For any fans of Stijn van Cauterís earlier work (a la Dreams Of Dying Stars, Until Death Overtakes Me), Arcane Voidsplitter is a must. I enjoyed 'The Reach Beyond', which was the first album of Arcane Voidsplitter, and 'Voice Of The Stars' only serves as a magnificent follow-up for it. The former has more of a Dreams Of Dying Stars lean with more focus on a Space Ambient side of things whereas 'Voice Of The Stars' has a heavier sound with more organs, leaning more toward Until Death Overtakes Me.

I should point out at this stage that Arcane Voidsplitter is not a copy of any of Stijn van Cauterís other projects, however. It stands on its own rather, traversing whole new areas of space, as always seems to be the case with this artist. I find it remarkable how one artist can fuse so many different atmospheres. For me, his music is always deeply beautiful but others Iíve spoken to have described it as Ďhauntingí or Ďdarkí, and I couldnít disagree with either assessment. Within it is woven some emotion too though, which I find particularly intriguing because itís not conveyed in a traditional sense. For example, some bands would use violins, acoustic guitars, or simply slow the music down and utilise spoken vocals but thatís not what happens here. The way itís composed is unique because it encompasses so much but all in its own manner.

Essentially, Arcane Voidsplitter is the perfect hybrid of Funeral Doom and Ambient, creating powerful and intriguing soundscapes via droning guitars and keyboards. The one thing itís missing that Until Death Overtakes Me had is vocals. I know thatíll be a stumbling block for some listeners but the atmosphere generated on 'Voice Of The Stars' more than makes up for it. Honestly, from my perspective, the music is so good that vocals arenít even required, which is a big compliment in my world. Another thing I would advise you on is that this musical style doesnít deviate much on the album. Bluntly put, if you donít like a sample you hear online, youíre not going to like it at all. Fans of more atmospheric Funeral Doom/Ambient releases are going to love this though. Personally, I could listen to this type of music all day long because itís sheer perfection to me.

To cap it off, this particular release isnít just online, unlike most of Stijn van Cauterís projects nowadays as prolific label Aesthetic Death has released it in a lovely digipack, which really is the icing on the cake. I canít even think of any negatives to mention because everything on the album, as per usual, suits me down to the ground. I heartily recommend 'Voice Of The Stars' to all fans of Funeral Doom/Ambient, enough so to hand out what I believe is my first 10/10 rating on this site.

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Reviewer's rating: 10/10


Tracklist :
1. Arcturus
2. Betelgeuse
3. Aldebaran

Duration : Approx. 65 minutes

Visit the Arcane Voidsplitter bandpage.

Reviewed on 2019-06-11 by Ian Morrissey
Rotten Copper
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