Pulsar Colony - Snowball Earth review



Reviewer:
8.5

1 user:
9.00
Band: Pulsar Colony
Album: Snowball Earth
Release date: November 2011


01. Wounded Animal Of The Four Elements
02. Snowball Earth
03. Absolute Zero
04. Pillars Of Creation
05. Ancestral Recall
06. Calypso
07. Of Frostfang Origin
08. To Pluto And Beyond


Pulsar Colony is a relatively new project created by Charles Sabo back when he began recording the instrumental tracks for what would eventually become Snowball Earth back in 2009. Two years later he would throw in some vocals and upload it to his Bandcamp page for the world to hear.

Thankfully he did, because this is some pretty interesting stuff.

Aside from the cover art, this is fairly original for what it is. It's not like we have to make up an entirely new genre for it*, but it does well enough to stand out from the rest of the black metal scene. It mixes a lot of progressive elements in with a rather strange form of electronica, sometimes delving into a surreal sort of psychedelia only to crash down hard with a purely vile vengeance. Sabo's vocals sound like a mix between Mikko Aspa (of Deathspell Omega fame) and Kevin Jones (Towards Darkness - who release their new album in two days, coincidentally), which a variety of extreme metal fans should appreciate.

Sabo has chosen to wander through the album at little more than a snail's pace in black metal terms, slowing down even more to show off his skill with the half-dozen instruments that make their appearance over the course of 70 minutes. That's right, you're in for quite a lengthy journey if you plan on sitting through this from beginning to end, with the shortest track clocking in at over eight minutes. This all adds to the album's trippy atmosphere, providing a sort of Pink Floyd effect that might have you looking towards the sky late at night wondering, What the fuck am I doing with my life? Or maybe you just inject some opiates and chill the fuck out. I'm not your mom.

Back on track (length), if you take pride in your endurance and are on the lookout for forward-thinking extreme metal, there isn't any reason why you shouldn't enjoy what Sabo has to offer. His avant-garde approach should appease fans of black metal as well as his influences - which range anywhere from Mastodon and Tool to Neurosis and Gojira. It's a lot to digest and it's a bit of a challenge, but the rewards are well worth the effort.

* Okay, maybe we have to call it like, experimental atmospheric post-blackened progressive sludge metal or something. That should be ridiculous enough for the masses, no?


Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Production: 8


 



Written on 10.03.2012 by Just another opinionated guy telling you what to listen to.


Comments

Comments: 28   Visited by: 167 users
10.03.2012 - 18:04
Boxcar Willy
yr a kook
Experimental atmospheric post-blackened progressive folkgrindsludge ambient gorefuck metal.

More appropriate.
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forever bummed out
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10.03.2012 - 18:07
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
No folk, no grind, no gore, not ambient.

Not as appropriate.
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Prettier than BloodTears.
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10.03.2012 - 23:32
Milena
Learning To "X"
The cover looks like an image I snapped with a cellphone in the local park... looks nice, but not exactly a big achievement in photography.
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"There comes a time when you look into the mirror and you realize that what you see is all that you will ever be. And then you accept it. Or you kill yourself. Or you stop looking in mirrors."
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10.03.2012 - 23:36
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by Milena on 10.03.2012 at 23:32
The cover looks like an image I snapped with a cellphone in the local park... looks nice, but not exactly a big achievement in photography.

Ya I'd probably give the cover a 4/10 on its own.

But I'd give your picture a 9/10 because it's yours.
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Prettier than BloodTears.
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10.03.2012 - 23:44
Milena
Learning To "X"
Written by Troy Killjoy on 10.03.2012 at 23:36

Ya I'd probably give the cover a 4/10 on its own.

But I'd give your picture a 9/10 because it's yours.

You got a chuckle out of me. I'll upload it somewhere when I find it, you have no idea how similar they are.
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"There comes a time when you look into the mirror and you realize that what you see is all that you will ever be. And then you accept it. Or you kill yourself. Or you stop looking in mirrors."
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11.03.2012 - 03:24
Boxcar Willy
yr a kook
Written by Troy Killjoy on 10.03.2012 at 18:07

No folk, no grind, no gore, not ambient.

Not as appropriate.

I just wanted to see how many genres I could add into one.
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forever bummed out
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11.03.2012 - 04:18
Edmund Fogg
Nice review. Thx for giving the album (and artist) the chance to shine it truly deserves. And for the genre deffinition (I can already picture the staff trying to pinpoint a genre if the awards were still going haha) why not just call it Metal.
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You cannot sedate all the things you hate - MM
The Observer is the source of reality - Bloom
God damn it!! What did Diddy didn't do? - Satan
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11.03.2012 - 04:23
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by Edmund Fogg on 11.03.2012 at 04:18
...why not just call it Metal.

Not possible, especially if we're trying to narrow it down to a specific group - in which case it'd either be black metal or avant-garde/experimental.

It's a really strong album, regardless of genre.
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Prettier than BloodTears.
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11.03.2012 - 17:34
raul m
Written by Edmund Fogg on 11.03.2012 at 04:18

Nice review. Thx for giving the album (and artist) the chance to shine it truly deserves. And for the genre deffinition (I can already picture the staff trying to pinpoint a genre if the awards were still going haha) why not just call it Metal.

Actually, "Death Metal" is sadly the umbrella term that the uninitiated seem to use for every extreme subgenre of metal nowadays.
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11.03.2012 - 23:29
Edmund Fogg
Written by raul m on 11.03.2012 at 17:34

Actually, "Death Metal" is sadly the umbrella term that the uninitiated seem to use for every extreme subgenre of metal nowadays.


I don't see how anyone (even a non Metal listener) could call that Death Metal. And even then, I think ther's nothing really sad about that. It's like having 2 anthropologist speaking and saying it's sad that most people confuse era x and era y. Everyone has different fields of expertise.
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You cannot sedate all the things you hate - MM
The Observer is the source of reality - Bloom
God damn it!! What did Diddy didn't do? - Satan
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11.03.2012 - 23:34
Marcus
Doit Like Bernie
A little too out there for me. I could only get about halfway through
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11.03.2012 - 23:34
Sonic MrSumo
You've managed to reference three of my favourite bands in this review; Tool, Mastodon and Gojira. I obviously need to check this out...
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All the bridges in the world won't save you, if there's no other side to cross to.
- Rock poetry from Silverchair.
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11.03.2012 - 23:37
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by Marcus on 11.03.2012 at 23:34
A little too out there for me. I could only get about halfway through

For shame, Marcus. For shame!
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Prettier than BloodTears.
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11.03.2012 - 23:39
Sonic MrSumo
Am hearing later Soundgarden in some of the riffs of track 1.
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All the bridges in the world won't save you, if there's no other side to cross to.
- Rock poetry from Silverchair.
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11.03.2012 - 23:41
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by Sonic MrSumo on 11.03.2012 at 23:39
Am hearing later Soundgarden in some of the riffs of track 1.

Possibly. These guys incorporate just about every influence they have into their sound.

Don't be surprised if you can name-drop over a dozen bands by the end of it.
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Prettier than BloodTears.
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11.03.2012 - 23:57
Marcus
Doit Like Bernie
Written by Troy Killjoy on 11.03.2012 at 23:37

For shame, Marcus. For shame!

Oh Troy, find it in your heart to forgive me!:cry:
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11.03.2012 - 23:58
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by Marcus on 11.03.2012 at 23:57
Oh Troy, find it in your heart to forgive me!:cry:

Well, you read my review, commented, and listened to the music.

I'd say you're forgiven.
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Prettier than BloodTears.
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12.03.2012 - 00:28
Sonic MrSumo
Written by Troy Killjoy on 11.03.2012 at 23:41

Don't be surprised if you can name-drop over a dozen bands by the end of it.

Out of curiosity, how many times did you listen to it prior to being rewarded by your efforts; i.e. "It's a lot to digest and it's a bit of a challenge, but the rewards are well worth the effort"?
----
All the bridges in the world won't save you, if there's no other side to cross to.
- Rock poetry from Silverchair.
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12.03.2012 - 00:32
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by Sonic MrSumo on 12.03.2012 at 00:28
Out of curiosity, how many times did you listen to it prior to being rewarded by your efforts; i.e. "It's a lot to digest and it's a bit of a challenge, but the rewards are well worth the effort"?

Second listen. First listen I couldn't form an opinion because I didn't know wtf I was supposed to be listening to.

Second time I was like. Oh wow. This makes sense.
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Prettier than BloodTears.
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12.03.2012 - 00:54
Sonic MrSumo
Written by Troy Killjoy on 12.03.2012 at 00:32

Second time I was like. Oh wow. This makes sense.

'tis indeed a tough listen...last 3 tracks gave me incentive enough to listen to it a second time.
----
All the bridges in the world won't save you, if there's no other side to cross to.
- Rock poetry from Silverchair.
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12.03.2012 - 00:56
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by Sonic MrSumo on 12.03.2012 at 00:54
'tis indeed a tough listen...last 3 tracks gave me incentive enough to listen to it a second time.

It definitely ends strong. I mean I think the entire thing is strong, but thankfully the ending is strong enough to entice you enough to listen to it again.
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Prettier than BloodTears.
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12.03.2012 - 01:07
~Starchild~
Listening to it right now, and I like what I hear. It's great to see you back Troy - finally I'm discovering awesome black metal bands again And great review, as always!
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12.03.2012 - 01:12
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by ~Starchild~ on 12.03.2012 at 01:07
Listening to it right now, and I like what I hear. It's great to see you back Troy - finally I'm discovering awesome black metal bands again And great review, as always!

Glad to hear it. And thanks! There will be many more recommendations from me on the front page.
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Prettier than BloodTears.
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12.03.2012 - 12:46
Merchant of Doom
I stopped listening when the sitar surfaced... my least favourite instrument of all time! Can't keep Ravi Shankar or Oregon off my head, now... Very interesting album, nevertheless. I'll give it another go ASAP.
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12.03.2012 - 13:19
raul m
Written by Edmund Fogg on 11.03.2012 at 23:29

I don't see how anyone (even a non Metal listener) could call that Death Metal.

You'd be surprised. While I was listening to Abominable Putridity someone came up to me and asked me if it was Suicide Silence.
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15.03.2012 - 16:10
Ag Fox
Angel No More
Quote:
if you take pride in your endurance
guess I must check this out then...
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loves 小巫
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25.03.2012 - 06:09
Ag Fox
Angel No More
Wow, great stuff indeed
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loves 小巫
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14.06.2012 - 19:03
Boxcar Willy
yr a kook
Sitar?

I was not aware of its includence (that's a word now) in this, will check ASAP.
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forever bummed out
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