Review: Modern Stars ‘Termination’

Roman psych experimental ethereal space rock quartet Modern Stars have arrived at their fourth studio work Termination in their best beautiful way by transporting us into their musical kingdom full of fascinating sheered tunes, assisted by universal themes with hints of religious undertones. Their debut album Silver Needles, their first of two albums released via Italian label MiaCameretta Records, was their calling card that outlined their musical trajectory releasing sounds and colours of a divine translucence mantra.

Modern Stars 'Termination' Artwork
Modern Stars ‘Termination’ Artwork

For them, this also represents a point of reference for developing their sound with their subsequent albums whose music is thrown into a familiar paradisiacal state where each guitar note falls into the right harmony, building a magnetic frame of ethereal space sounds full of devastating sonic beauty.

As high as a clear sky are their musical influences; reminiscences of Spiritualized meets the more cavernous and stunned The Jesus And Mary Chain are just one point of reference in their celestial-esoteric world. Although as a band, their imagination is as deep as it is broad, musically they sometimes gently touch upon the eastern spiritual divinity of the Popol Vhu, but this is only a quick encounter to find them dive back into an ocean of sound whose core is contaminated by the captivating and persuasive voice of their opera soprano singer Barbara Margani.

Across their previous three works, the band explored various musical facets, painting vibrant and unique sonic landscapes without succumbing to excessive esotericism. Their latest album, Termination, delves into the theme of the halting problem, both in computer theory and human life, as all four members immerse themselves into a divine state of mind, slow and overwhelming.

a must listen for spiritual minds…

Across the seven tracks, they delve into the theme of the halting problem, both in computer theory and human life, which sees all four members immersing their body and soul into a divine flowing state of mind that’s both slow and overwhelming. From the first two opening tracks, If/Then and Fields Of Nowhere, we are transported in a sonic journey propelled by Andrea Merolle‘s guitar and electronics along with Margani‘s enchanting vocals and Mario Bruni ‘s pulsating flowing bass that spreads elastically without respite. Confession is a healthy purifying psych mantra rock song accompanied by a soft syncopated drum rhythm played by Andrea Speduti.

Bartleby (a song inspired by Herman Melville’s short story Bartleby, The Scrivener, an 18th century New York law employee who instead of responding to his employer’s requests with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ always replied with a categorical ‘I would prefer not to’), is hypnotic, spaced-out and musically enthralling.

Be Pure is the masterpiece of Termination, it’s pure and permeated by a new harmony with a devastating melody that breaks the atmosphere created within the other songs. As the album closes with the near five-minute Coming Down, you find yourself already floating into space and carried away by their way of excruciating soulful and melodic consciousness.

Modern Stars Termination is a translucent carriage of music and enduring heartfelt emotions and a must listen for spiritual minds.

Label: Clostridium Records | Little Cloud Records | Sister 9 Recordings
Band Links: Official | Facebook | Bandcamp | Spotify | Instagram

Scribed by: Domenico ‘Mimmo’ Caccamo