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Album Reviews : Stardrifter – Volume 0

By on May 3, 2019

Adelaide drone metal two-piece Stardrifter has recently released a demo tape titled Volume 0 that I came across online and decided to give a listen to. A two-track affair coming in at around 21 minutes, Volume 0 shows a great deal of promise for a first release that has much potential to be further refined and developed. The demo (and the band) are generally themed around the vast, cosmic void of space, appropriately for some crushing drone riffs in the vein of Earth and Sun O))).

Opening track ‘Nebulous Void’ sets the stage with the expected features of drone metal: crushingly heavy riffs played agonisingly slowly to give the listener plenty of time to soak in the atmosphere. The guitar and bass tones here are very nice; appropriately brittle, soaked in the low-end and heavily distorted. Likewise, the two main riffs or themes of this track are interesting and well-developed.

Indeed, there’s a great deal of compositional technique required to sustain interest with just two contrasting themes over a song roughly twelve-and-a-half minutes long and Startdrifter are nearly there. Unfortunately the song misses the mark a little; while the development of the two riffs (and their use as contrasts to one another) is generally done well when it happens, these developments are a little too spaced out for my tastes and there’s not quite enough material present to sustain a song of this length.

The second song ‘Star Disintegration’ demonstrates incremental progress toward fixing some of these issues: the opening higher pitched drone to the riff was a nice contrast to the previous song and the development (and song length) are more condensed making it easier to stay invested as a listener. The riffs are almost hypnotic and a great deal of time can pass simply taking in the riffs and the atmosphere of the track. After the initial drone, however, the riffs sink back into the murky depths, reducing the contrast somewhat, though the low-mid range of the guitar is used more in the second track.

There’s clearly a great deal of promise here even though Volume 0 falls just short of the mark. Make no mistake, this is still impressive work for a first demo tape, especially for a two piece that only has a guitar and bass to work with sonically. I’m excited to see Stardrifter continue to develop their sound and hone their craft for a potential EP or full release to work out some of the kinks that remain in Volume 0.

Band: Stardrifter
Album: Volume 0
Year: 2019
Genre: Drone Metal
Label: Independent
Origin: Australia


Ben is a metalhead originally from Sydney, who has now moved to Hobart to pursue a PhD in Australian extreme metal. When not studying, writing about or playing metal, he can be found playing video games, browsing Reddit, knitting, fending off his cat or helping out at his local church.