Review: Blazar ‘Fatal Cosmic Wound’

Fatal Cosmic Wound is the debut full-length from Barcelona’s Blazar, a sludgy funeral doom outfit who take their name from one of the brightest things in the night sky. Blazars are ‘a type of active galactic nucleus with a jet composed of ionized matter traveling at nearly the speed of light’, which is a very science-y description, but it actually suits their suitably cosmic darkness. I’m glad they explained that clearly in their promotional materials, because I would’ve struggled to describe it so eruditely. Fatal Cosmic Wound is out now through Carbonized Records.

Blazar 'Fatal Cosmic Wound' Artwork
Blazar ‘Fatal Cosmic Wound’ Artwork

Aether definitely feels like it has drifted in from the depths of the cosmos, less of an intro and more of a herald of what may be coming out of the endless black. That fear is realised as the title track, Fatal Cosmic Wound, begins, a shuddering epic of groaning doom that has a decidedly funereal pace and vocals that sound like they are emanating from some kind of abyssal tear.

Beyond The Event Horizon is much the same, except the two tracks feel almost like a duology of those genre tags of sludge and funeral doom; the latter having a real sense of sludgy malice running through it, compared with the glacial heft of the former. It adds a sense of the severe and the fearsome to an album that could’ve fallen into the sleek post-metal crowd too early to realise their full potential.

The deep space signal vibe to the dark ambient Aeon is a perfect respite, almost like a moment to craft a response to the sounds calling out from the cosmos. The sludge factor is seen best in the storming Crystallized Oblivion, which even layers in a little death metal power. Blazar have carefully cultivated a sound of pure obsidian, like Triptykon meets Skepticism via just a tiny bit of Isis.

Blazar have carefully cultivated a sound of pure obsidian, like Triptykon meets Skepticism via just a tiny bit of Isis…

The clean notes that ring out in what could just be described as melody are evocative and memorable, and they provide anchors in the roiling galaxial turmoil that tracks like Forgotten have created. As The Omega Phase screams out a final warning to the rest of the universe, a brief signal of what they can expect before fading out, you know just what you’ve experienced was special.

A few years ago, the band Atramentus released Stygian, my album of the year for 2020 and a record that I hold up as an absolute pinnacle of this kind of massive, scope defying funeral doom. Very few albums have come close to it, let alone surpass it, but Fatal Cosmic Wound might be the closest I’ll find. An incredible work of such melancholy, such darkness, such a voice given to our futile efforts in this life.

Blazar may have named themselves after one of the more energetic things in the sky, but their music is the heat death of our galaxy; timeless and inevitable. Fatal Cosmic Wound is right, and we’re all going to bleed out in eternal doom. Wow.

Label: Carbonized Records
Band Links: Facebook | Bandcamp | Spotify | Instagram

Scribed by: Sandy Williamson