01 Alpha Eri
03 Gas Und Staub Zwischen Den Sternen
05 Verteilung Der Nebel Im Raum
06 NGC 6611
07 NGC 3242 (Ghost of Jupiter)
There is something special with black metal embracing space and the endless stars as this is not the first time I find a band that really capture the essence of that certain feeling that arises from wandering under a black starlit sky on a chilly November evening… Behind the monstrosity Alrakis is A1V, a pure genius when it comes to mixing together moody riffs with desolate void born atmospheres. When I first bought this record it was the cover that really grabbed my attention and pulled me in like a vortex from beyond. Some time ago I remember brooding over why most of the black metal albums depicted a random foliage at dusk with that trademark unreadable logo gleefully sprayed in the darkest of the undergrowth. Alpha Eri is bloody beautiful with a dark and unrelenting image of a blackened cosmos ever present and lurking above our very heads. Metal and cosmos where meant for each other.
Alpha Eri is a mixture of the best of both worlds, the heavy brooding riffs of the blackest most void laden black metal matured in a cask of slowly fading atmosphere. The feeling of distant stars and boiling oceans of gas are omnipotent in this brew of brimstone and darkness. Its hard to put down in word the celestial majesty that emerges when the first track Alpha Eri evolves into the slow almost depressively slow M20. Gas und Staub Zwischen Den Sternen is a slowly evolving instrumental piece that really captures a sensation of being lost in time and space, abandoned to the harsh elements of the cosmos. The howling guitars blend perfectly with the slow almost trance inducing qualities of the synthesisers creating a soundscape so hauntingly visceral that you feel trapped in a airlock between the stars. Sternenstaub opens up with an eerily whispering voice and evolves into a subtle yet strong grind of eldritch howls and howling guitars, the song slowly dies out bleeding into the solemn Verteilung Der Nebel Im Raum. The album ends in the chillingly dark and brooding NGC 6611 and its forlorn lover NGC 3242 who combines minimal ambient and droneworks in a silent outro for this great and varied offspring of chaos.
Alpha Eri is the essence of what really strikes me as a great depiction of the universe with its dark and mysterious qualities. Although this is far from the black hole that is Darkspace I find Alrakis to be a far different yet equally good depiction of the other aspects of the universe. The mystery that is hidden beyond the stars, the beauty sprung from nebular births where chaos and entropy crafts entire universes from nothing but stardust and black stellar energies and the promise of power born from the depths of the immaterium. Ambience and black metal have a rare symbiosis and Alrakis sure is a master of both. Some individuals might find the music lacking in its minimal and grinding nature but to me it’s the minimalism that really brings forth the beauty of the void between the stars. This is a soundtrack to nothingness and infinite powers and I already hunger for more of the genius that is Alrakis.