Today, A Beast in the Field announces October 15th as the international release date for Crystal Coffin‘s highly anticipated second album, The Starway Eternal.
Crystal Coffin is a melodic black metal trio from Vancouver, Canada that has played together since 2017. The band consists of Aron Shute (vocals, bass), Lenkyn Ostapovich (guitars, vocals, synths, piano, balalaika), and Rob Poirier (drums). Crystal Coffin is influenced by the progressive black sounds of Enslaved and Wolves in the Throne Room, the straightforward aggression of High on Fire, and the haunting keyboard work of Fabio Frizzi. Lyrically, the band re-imagines 20th century atrocities into poetry and melody. In March 2020, the band released their first full-length, The Transformation Room, on A Beast in the Field to positive reviews. For the remainder of the year, the band wrote and rehearsed the music that would form their second album, The Starway Eternal.
Massive and mesmerizing, The Starway Eternal continues Crystal Coffin‘s contemplation of worldly struggle and the fine line one can find between hope and hopelessness. Cast against the historical realities of the Chernobyl power plant meltdown of 1986, the assumed protagonist – an operator at the power plant – discovers the portalway behind an inoperable console and soon finds that her longing for meaning in this chaotic world answers the opportunity to seek out the purported gods and angels that live among the cosmos in our known solar system. To find such entities would be to imbue a sense of importance in our collective existence beyond the daily disorder and existential despair that one accepts. Her trips into various corners of space reveal little to no such beings, and during one such fruitless endeavor, her portalway back to earth is shut permanently; reactor 4 at Chernobyl back on earth has suffered its meltdown during shutdown operation. Frantic, she makes the decision to return to earth by falling through the fiery atmosphere as a lonely, final and futile act of desperation. Of course, survival is impossible, and such an act becomes a metaphor for our time wandering the earth with little connection to anything beyond the physical world.
Indeed, with a thematic scope so portentous, Crystal Coffin‘s compositions suitably follow that awe-inspiring arc, collectively comprising the band’s best and most adventurous work to date. Musically, The Starway Eternal was written during the lockdown months of spring-into-summer 2020 and rehearsed as restrictions started easing into the autumn. The music and vocals are intentionally more aggressive than its no-less-considerable predecessor while also trying to paint a landscape that contains elements of science fiction and moments of pathos. As they did with the content of that first album, on The Starway Eternal did Crystal Coffin reflect upon actual events of the 20th Century in Eastern Europe to create poetic images of struggle, defeat, regret, and the hope for a lifeless form that yields a form of peace beyond our consciousness can consider. More immediately, each of the band members come from families rooted in European backgrounds and have a shared interest in history, science fiction motifs, and vintage horror.
Refreshingly cinematic, palatably modern, and unselfconsciously adventurous, Crystal Coffin dazzlingly skirt the outer boundaries of black metal and psychedelic, space and time, with The Starway Eternal.
Begin travelling with the brand-new track “Shapeshifter Huntsman” HERE at Crystal Coffin‘s Bandcamp. Cover artwork, courtesy of Lenkyn Ostapovich, and tracklisting are as follows:
Tracklisting for Crystal Coffin’s The Starway Eternal
1. Shapeshifter Huntsman
2. The Starway Eternal
4. Console of Horror
5. The Red Forest
6. Cremation: Between Fire and Ice
7. The Descent
8. Mega Tomb (including Tomorrow’s Ghost)
Left to right:
(L) Lenkyn Ostapovich: guitars, synthesizers, piano, balalaika (track 4), vocals (track 5)
(M) Aron Shute: vocals, bass guitar
(R) Rob Poirier: drums