Like the German black metal scene they – sort of – belong to, borrowing huge portions of their elders’ heritage is part of Stellar Master Elite’s DNA.
But it’s how they process it that sets them apart. Even if you strip it of all its extras, SMA’s music is already quite adventurous, using traditional black metal as a stepping stone to venture into extreme doom (Hologram Temple) or black’n’roll (The First Principle).
But there’s a strong cinematic vibe going, thanks to the occasional electronic pulses leading into bombastic territories and their frontman Eric Kuhnen (from the otherwise quite generic deathcore outfit Ichor), who turns out to be a fitting chameleon.
The album’s biggest achievement is actually a testimony to their versatility: namely the enthralling Perdition Time Loop, that features only tribal percussion, ominous synth layers and gothic-like chants for six of its nine-and-a-half minutes.