Thursday, March 14, 2002 @ 10:57 AM
- advertisement -
This is where the Black Metal style truly crosses into another
dimension. While employing plenty of those otherworldly aspects that
make for such an imaginative listening experience, Astral, like the name
suggests, takes the journey just a little bit further. Reared in the
Czech Republic, they're a mix of medieval grandeur, dark conjuring and
cerebral spirits all in one well-packaged symphonic sophomore release.
This record can be thought of as more haunting in fact than extreme in
terms of what we readily accept as "Black" Metal, though elementally,
the components are there.
Instrumentally layered fluidity usually commingles around soothing vocals, piercing screams and disturbing yet enchanting background effects. The songs, often long and circuitous, come sheltered in a Latin vernacular, and employ a degree of Gothic
melancholy with pale folklore. Astral's multi-dimensional technical
prowess, bathed in black save for an occasional flicker of pleasing
candlelight, makes for a resounding resonance of middle age audio/visual
on their powerful and spellbinding new release.