Space is an infinitely large thing, and terrifying in its enormousness as well as how little we actually know about it. And yet, at the same time, it's also awesome: science fiction gives us a window into the amazing possibilities that go along with the great unknown. Stoner rock and doom metal have a long-documented aptitude for capturing just how badass travelling the stars must be, but few among them pay respect to the enormity and horror that come along with that as well as New York City's King Bastard. Their debut album It Came from the Void packs meaty, bong-hit-ready riffs to rival any somnolent stoner titan out there, but they weave them into a massive adventure of psychedelic, star-gazing exploration and no insignificant amount of sheer dread. As the concept album's story takes its very-likely-doomed protagonists further into the outer reaches of space, the compositions and sound grow steadily more deranged, shedding its stoner rock roots for chaotic deviations into blackened doom, post-metal, and noise. For a taste, we're premiering a visualizer for "Black Hole Viscera," which comes from the second half of the album.

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This may not be the weirdest track on the album, but it's certainly up there, taking a simple motif and expanding it into a mind-bending journey through the help of bizarre and unpredictable instrumentation. A simple, foreboding set of notes repeats through the heavier parts of the album, feeling like a stabilizing (if ominous) mantra as the rest of the track picks up in intensity around it. In the mid-section, a screaming, well-past-its-limits wah pedal issues an inhuman dialogue, furious almost-syllables incoherently protesting the track's inevitable progression past the event horizon. After a vocal sample cues in the final act of the song, saxophone squeals and increasingly atonal riffs clatter and twist their way to a feedback-ringing conclusion.

By combining heavy doom with an obvious affinity for rendering cosmic terror through guitars, saxophone, and drums, It Came from the Void offers a twisted take on the classic retro sci-fi stoner rock album. Whereas spacey, psychedelic stoner rock often takes a good-vibes-only approach to the cosmos, King Bastard confronts their spacefaring audience with the universe's darker side.

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It Came from the Void releases January 14th, 2022 independently via Bandcamp.