EP Review: Stellar Death – “Sentient (Chapter 1)” (Experimental Instrumental Metal)

Written by: Valkyrjiaa

Stellar DeathSentient (Chapter 1)
>Experimental metal
>Washington, DC, US
>Released June 10

For many, there seems to be no shortage of purely instrumental metal music out there for listening pleasure; but for someone who heavily utilizes instrumental tracks for their own creative projects, I find the uniqueness to be dwindling. The new instrumental EP titled Sentient (Chapter 1) from the US-based Stellar Death has broken that boundary. Debuting June 10th, 2022 with Bravemusic, this 3-track EP is the first of many in a series of works that will ultimately gather into a collection of songs based on a thematic exploration of consciousness within the universe.

“Emergence” is exactly what its title suggests, offering haunting sounds and sensory plagues before filling the silent void with a violent array of chilling hums and maddening drums. Driving riffs hammer through an asteroid filed of dead stars as we are precariously navigating the remnants of a forgotten world whilst death floats all around us. It’s a track that boasts a frightful melody at its helm while progressing forward with steadfast riffs and enchanting tones.

It’s the embrace of exploration through a metaphorical minefield of exploding stars and untouched emotions revealed in a brilliant composition of familiar sound, and progressive instrumentals that allure the senses.

“I Am” brings in the metal immediately, pulling reality closer to one of determination and perseverance. To extend our reach to the great beyond and journey beyond stars and dust to awaken what’s deep within becomes known. The hair-raising bass subtly gets under the skin while the thunder of heavy riffs blind the soul from searching too far. It’s a track that holds flare and fear at just over five and a half minutes in length, taking our mind on a ride of blackened skies, speckled by the light of a million planets, all eagerly awaiting our acknowledgment. It is the calming of a calamity, and the chiding of a beat that extends from our chest and to a place beyond comprehension. Expressed by a variety of instrumental technique, “I Am” embraces an orchestral nightmare; truly allowing us to close our eyes and explore the cosmos beyond the limits of human reach.

The final track, titled “Capacity to Suffer” completes this step of our journey; the step into the unknown. Chiming in with ethereal echoes and gentle drums, it holds a sense of dread as it reaches out an unseen hand while the melody builds. Ramping up both fear and curiosity from within, we’re taken by an avalanche of melodic chaos that rings out, blasting us with the fury of double-kickers and shredding guitars to force us forward. There is no turning back, there is no fear nor joy to embrace – only that which feeds our curious minds is to be followed. The longest of the three tracks at nearly eight minutes, this track shows off the technical skill and creative turns that Stellar Death has taken up to bring their conceptual creation to limits beyond the stars.


Boasting a blend of aggressive melodies with ambient/ethereal breaks, Sentient (Chapter 1) allows cosmic exploration to infect our minds; and allows us to be consumed by our own self-reflections and discoveries as progress must move on.

Having taken up a myriad of inspirations from death metal to cinema, this EP holds a unique fusion of musical composition that paints velvety images of the universe beyond our sight lines both mentally and physically.

Those hungering for a unique soundscape to their creative works, or one that will simply let your mind explore, should indulge themselves in this EP without delay.