Review: Sarcasm – Stellar Stream Obscured

Posted: December 24, 2021 in Reviews
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Sarcasm - Stellar Stream Obscured

Review by Sandre the Giant

Sweden’s Sarcasm (one of MANY on the Encyclopedia Metallum) are the vintage band from Uppsala who released a lot of killer material early in the 90s and then disappeared until 2016’s debut full length, ‘Burial Dimensions’, finally brought them crashing back in reality. Their newest, and fourth full length since this triumphant return, ‘Stellar Stream Obscured’, is out in January on Hammerheart Records.

I first discovered them in the History of Swedish Death Metal book, and accompanying CD. ‘In Hate’ was an absolute beauty, and I’ve tried to follow them as much as possible, so the advent of ‘Stellar Stream Obscured’ was looked forward to. I had no fears once the torrent of absolutely classic death metal poured from my speakers in the form of ‘Through the Crystal Portal’. There’s plenty of chainsawing riffs and more than their fair share of killer melodies too, from the Gothenberg-esque ‘Obsidian Eyes’ and the murderously catchy ‘The Spinning Tomb’. Sarcasm could play it safe at any point, recycling old Entombed riffs and cranking an HM2 pedal, but instead they play with the tropes a little too, the looming gothic death/doom of ‘Ancient Visitors’ is a monster while ‘The Powers of Suffering That Be’ drifts into brutal death breakdown territory every so often and beautiful Finnish death melodies float in the background of the glorious ‘Apocalyptic Serenity’.

There’s always a hint of suspicion when a band comes back from the dead for more albums, but Sarcasm defeated those fears years ago, and ‘Stellar Stream Obscured’ is another feather in the cap of those of us who have some faith in the system. Sarcasm sound like the veterans they are, effortlessly pumping out classic death metal in their homeland style but adding enough little tweaks to the formula to remain essential.

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