For nearly three decades, Australia’s StarGazer has released some of the most complex, evocative, and profound music in underground metal. Since its inception, StarGazer represents the visionary union of two extraordinary musicians—guitarist Denny Blake aka The Serpent Inquisitor (Martire, Misery’s Omen, Cauldron Black Ram, Intellect Devourer) and bassist Damon Good aka The Great Righteous Destroyer (Mournful Congregation, Misery’s Omen, Cauldron Black Ram). And for the last few years, they’ve been accompanied by the phenomenal drumming of Alan Cadman aka Khronomancer (Tzun Tzu, Ast Voldur, Altars). With their last album, 2021’s “Psychic Secretions,” StarGazer tapped into the aggressive energy of their earliest work while continuing to expand upon the progressive elements that feature more prominently in their recent releases. With their new three-song MLP, “Bound by Spells,” StarGazer strike a similar balance, demonstrating their ongoing innovation, as they evolve and progress over time. Across the 18 minutes of this record, the band’s unparalleled compositional skills are on full display as they deftly maneuver between somber, boldly melodic passages, with arpeggiated chords shimmering against sinuous basslines, and manic, tessellated riffs painstakingly chiseled to reveal their perfect musculature. Despite the extreme sophistication of their music and the thematic complexity of their lyrics and imagery, StarGazer always avoid pretension, maintaining an unassuming and understated posture. Continuing the long-standing relationship between StarGazer and NWN!, the release of “Bound By Spells” comes in advance of the band’s return to Europe for Never Surrender Fest, organized by NWN! and Iron Bonehead.