Crate Diggin’: TSTAT – I Die Smiling

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Confession: The Sun Through A Telescope’s I Die Smiling is one of my favorite records from 2013. It’s right up there with Gorguts’ Colored Sands, Inter Arma’s Sky Burial, VHOL’s self titled record, and Pusha T’s My Name Is My Name.

You might be thinking, well NegroD this is crazy how can you like this album as much as Colored Sands?!?!?! I really think it is that good. (You may also be thinking why does Joe keep letting this dude post on his website?!?! Cash Rules Everything Around ToH.). I have spread the gospel of I Die Smiling to anyone that would listen; I harassed esteemed members of our community like W., Tyree, Max, and more about this album. I’ve heard nothing but positive feedback about it. I have a certain amount of pride about this album, since I discovered it off the beaten path. You know, like this is my album. I found it. I suppose after this post I will have to put this beast to rest and find another ace for my sleeve.

I Die Smiling 2013

I Die Smiling 2013

I love everything about this album, from it’s Sean Penn version of Bad Boys style cover, to the track titles (with titles like You Can’t Kill Me and Everyday Is Like Black Hole Svnday), to the samples employed throughout the record, to the music. The music! On I Die Smiling, TSTAT plays a variety of metal and experiments with a variety of sounds and noise. He plays some chunky, active guitar and drum passages in between softer acoustic passages and noise passages. This album benefits from terrific sequencing. There isn’t a dull moment on here. TSTAT should also be praised for his vocal performance; he does cult like spoken word, hollow sounding bellows, more traditional metal screams, and even soaring operatic Clean Singing.

I don’t know much about the man behind The Sun Through A Telescope, one Lee Neutron. He hails from Ottawa, Ontario, and is the sole member of this drone and doom project. I admit I have a soft spot for one man / woman metal projects. It’s impressive when someone plays every instrument and sings on an album, does the studio work, let alone on an album as compelling as this one. If underground music exists on the internet, this is it. As far as I can tell it appears in 4 Bandcamp collections. (It’s not as underground as something like Bone Awl, which I can find next to nothing about).

This album is a bizarre and brilliant masterpiece. It’s strange, original, and dare I say, a bit graceful. It is a must listen for all fans of extreme and heavy music. Put on some headphones or turn up your sweet home stereo and get lost in this one for awhile.

I can never put into words how much I love you. You’re everything to me. You were my life I lived to see you smile. Those animals killed you. They’re evil animals and they killed you and I blame ’em for your death… and all for you morons, infidels, and fools that think I had anything to do with it, go to Hell! Go to Hell! I loved my wife more than any man could love his wife on the face of the Earth. I’d have died for her. I took care of her she was my life. I didn’t do anything but love her and for all you sick sons of bitches that think I had anything to do with her life, go to Hell!

(Photo VIA)

 

 

  • W.

    I really like Werewolf Weather. It has a Pig Destroyer Natasha feel to it.

    • Negrodamus

      My girlfriend hated the clean singing on this album, she thought it sounded like “emo cry singing” lol, but I dig it. I think this dude is actually a fairly good singer!

      • Tyree

        He surprisingly is a good singer.

      • Ayreonaut

        I had someone overhear dream theater and call it emo singing before

        • Negrodamus

          See, I’m not the biggest Dream Theater fan or expert either but I enjoy the vocals on most of what I have heard from them!

          • Ayreonaut

            Awake is my favorite album vocally and with the atmosphere it gives, pretty much any of their nineties stuff is great, the more you dig into their past the easier it is to appreciate their new stuff

      • Further Down the Metal Hole

        The clean bits remind me of Trent Reznor a bit, actually. Just the way they’re delivered.

        • Negrodamus

          That’s a fair assessment, and I like a lot of NIN’s stuff too.

  • Tyree

    Way to go Negrodamus! People need to know about The Sun Through A Telescope. I still wish I could figure out what that quote is from in the song Werewolf Weather Part I.

    • W.

      I’ve been wondering that too. It’s my favorite track from the album.

      • Negrodamus

        I have a hard time picking a favorite on here.

        • I couldn’t make it through track “Mr. Yawning Infinity Chasm” when I was scheduling this post. That’s the track that is set to default play. But I skipped around a little and damn – There is some great stuff here. The Werewolf Weather song cycle is fantastic.

          • Negrodamus

            I noticed that, that it doesn’t start from track 1 on the player… unusual. I appreciate this one when I have the time to hear from start to finish! (like most good to great records)

    • Negrodamus

      Thanks Tyree!

      Are you talking about the quote I have listed under the Bandcamp player here? I tried Googling it when I was writing this up and I still couldn’t figure out what it was. I love it too though. It’s so crazy and fits so perfectly on this record.

      Also, I 100% agree that more people need to get hip to TSTAT.

      • Tyree

        I spent like an hour trying to figure out what it was one day. It pisses me off that I can’t find it. It’s so bizarre, creepy, and fitting for the song. ” I loved my wife. You all can go straight to Hell!”

        • Negrodamus

          We need to figure it out somehow.

          • Tyree

            I mean it seems like it would be easy to find. I don’t know, like I said I tried and I came up empty handed.

          • Negrodamus

            That’s the sign of a good pick for a sample when the two of us can’t even discover where it is from, in the internet era.

          • Tyree

            Yeah! I’m glad it wasn’t Robert Oppenheimer’s quote “Now I am Become Death, the Destroyer of Worlds”. That quote is way over used.

          • Found it. It was from a documentary about the West Memphis Three.

          • W.

            Whoah!

          • Tyree

            Creepy! Awesome find Joe.

          • W.

            i kinda want to watch this documentary now.

          • I’m not sure how familiar you are with the West Memphis 3 but it’s fascinating. Damian Echols (one of the kids that was railroaded) recently put out a book detailing his experiences. Highly recommended.

          • W.

            I’m somewhat familiar with it. I’m pretty sure I heard Sage Francis rap about it and proceeded to look it up.

          • KJM

            Paradise Lost? That was a very hard movie for me to sit through. I had to shut it off a couple of times.

          • Oh great one! I have been searching forever for the source of the quote at the end of Aborted’s “The Lament Configuration”:

            “Do you believer in the lord? believe in the message he’s given to me? Well he’s given me another one, a special message. A message about you Libby. He’s told me to give you my seed. Do you understand what that means?”

            I had forgotten all about it until they used it again on their latest album at the end of The Davidian Deceit. I can’t for the life of me find out where it’s from. plz halp

          • I’m stumped!

          • This is truly a mystery. If you ever find it let me know. Although it sounds super creepy.

            http://msimdb.comax.fr/index.php?type=Artist&q=Aborted

          • Yes. that link is the furthest I’ve ever gotten with it and it blows because it looks like every other sample on that page is sourced. Are there no super el17e haxors among us who can trawl the depths of the dark web to find the answer?

          • comaX_Admin

            Hi, I’m the one who made that website, and I’m still searching for that one… Although we might have a clue here : https://www.facebook.com/Abortedofficial/posts/10152301685604013
            If ever one of you guys find it, drop me a message.

            Cheers

          • comaX_Admin

            We might have a clue here : https://www.facebook.com/Abort
            If ever one of you guys find it, drop me a message and I’ll add it to the database http://msimdb.comax.fr/index.php?type=Artist&q=Aborted

            Cheers

    • I found something! Investigating.

      • Negrodamus

        OMG

      • Tyree

        Joe Joe Joe Joe Joe Joe Joe Joe Joe!

        • Negrodamus

          Joe > us.

          Lol.

          • Tyree

            Pretty much, Lol

  • SYL!’s 7 Year Old Son

    My Dad let me look at the sun through a telescope once.

    • Guest

      did he make you look directly at the sun?

    • Mr. Bojangles

      My dad let me poop and not wipe once.

      -Mr. Bojangles

      • My dad let me leave the vacuum running for an hour once.

      • George Clarke

        you are a cat

        cats do not need to wipe

        • Mr. Bojangles

          with my tongue

  • when @disqus_4E0xQtrX2p:disqus likes something, that means it’s time to put everything else down and give it a spin. will you like it? doesn’t matter. it’ll blow your motherfuckin’ mind at the least.

    • Negrodamus

      McNulty that is seriously high praise, I really appreciate it!

      • Xander Crews

        This group is seriously nasty, like in the BEST most hookerish way possible.

        • Negrodamus

          It’s like The Site That Shall Not Be Named but with more camaraderie and less Emmure and Dave Mustaine articles. Thanks, by the way, about the article. I’m a big fan of TSTAT!

      • TrickleDownTacoRiff

        gooo negro! I got to check this out!

        • Negrodamus

          TDTR do it up! I think you may be pleasantly surprised.

  • I got invited to Like a page on Facebook today for Merdarahta. It says “Dark ambient noise featuring members of Fuck the Facts, Winters in Osaka, The Sun Through A Telescope and more.” I figured that would interest this group. Their album is available for free download on Bandcamp: http://merdarahta.bandcamp.com/

    • Negrodamus

      I read an article (I think it was on The Site That Shall Not Be Named) that one of the dudes in Fuck The Facts put out, that essentially said he could not afford to be a touring musician but he was going to do it anyways and I respected that. Might not be the smartest thing ever but you could tell the dude LOVED what he was doing!

      • I’m pretty sure that was the bassist for FtF. Case in point: the last time I saw them play there were about 20 people in attendance and 10 of those people were in the opening bands. So about 10 people paid to get in that night. Mad props to those guys…they definitely are in it for the love of the music I respect the hell out of that!

  • Gorgasm

    Went to TSTAT facebook to give them a like, and saw that i had already liked them….i think NegroD must have told me about these guys a few months ago.

    Nice to revisit this awesome band.

    • Gorgasm
      • Further Down the Metal Hole

        There’s a link to this article on dat dere Facebook page! Congratulations are in order (pst, pst, your chance to ask him for an exclusive).

    • Negrodamus

      He has a pretty impressive discography as well, a lot of long EPs on his Bandcamp but I Die Smiling is the crown jewel there imho.

  • Renan Ribeiro

    Nosetalgia best track on the best rap release of 2013

    • Negrodamus

      I was surprised, but that was the rap album I cared more about than any other of last year too! Kendrick Lamar killed that guest spot. MURDERED it.

  • Xander Crews

    I’ve been wondering where all you guys went, sup everyone. Nice toilet. @disqus_4E0xQtrX2p:disqus, this is good shit. Kinda Faith No More-ish, but heavier. I likes it.

    • W.

      Welcome to the Toilet, Awesome X.

      • Xander Crews

        Thanks W. The Xtacles and I can come scoop ya up in the airship if you’re down man, all it’ll cost is little blow. Come on man I know you’re holdin!

    • welcome Xander!

  • Stockhausen

    I’m in full on band camp/I-can’t-check-anything-out mode for the next two weeks, and I’m super bummed. I need to make a list.

    • Negrodamus

      Why can’t you check anything new for two weeks?

      • Stockhausen

        Well I can, but it’ll be limited. I’m running a band camp at the school where I teach, and we have 9 AM – 9PM rehearsals every day. I dive in the toilet periodically on the phone, but I can’t really listen to the awesome stuff people keep throwing out.

  • Cock of Steele

    Am I right when I feel like these guys are subtly parodying the post-metal/sludge doom genres?

    • Negrodamus

      That never occurred to me but it is quite possible. The whole thing does seem a little tongue in cheek huh?

  • Chino’s shoe

    So good

    • Negrodamus

      Chino Moreno’s shoe?

      • Chino’s shoe

        Yes, that is me. At your service.

  • LAMENTATIONS OF THE WOMEN
    • Negrodamus

      Dope lol

  • The Flying Scotsman

    I like this a lot, but in what universe is it Drone?

    • Negrodamus

      Hi Scotsman.

      I actually pulled the description from the artist’s description on his Bandcamp page. There are some extended passages on this one that don’t have a lot to them, but, I think he may be talking about some of his other releases that are more along the drone lines. Honestly, lol, I don’t hear much doom on this release either.

      Thanks for checking him and the article out!

  • This is pretty cool. Even JAG is feeling it.

    • Negrodamus

      OH SNAP

      really?

  • RuIN?

    Good work NegroD. got a sweet link on the TSTAT page. https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Sun-Through-a-Telescope/161740150545300

    • Negrodamus

      Ha, that’s awesome! I shared the link on his page earlier but he went ahead and shared it too, I guess.

  • Paul Will.I.Am.s

    I thought this album was fucking awesome when you posted it on MS, and completely forgot about it; thanks for the reminder!