Astronoid
Stargazer


3.5
great

Review

by DarkNoctus CONTRIBUTOR (39 Reviews)
July 17th, 2013 | 29 replies | 5,336 views


Release Date: 07/02/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: stripped down without being barren, straight-forward without being contrived - Stargazer is a confident and enjoyable EP that will leave you wanting much more.

Taking an extreme sound palette like black metal and taking it in other directions has never been the easiest task without bogging down the soundscape and coming away with a confused husk of ideas. That is, unless you're willing to bypass the boundaries and expectations set of you as a 'black metal band'. Astronoid, a US black metal project, do just this by bringing quite a few sets of sounds to the mix without muddying it up and keeping the intentions of the music straight-forward - all of the fat of their influences trimmed out so it sounds kind of like all of them but mostly like none of them.

Despite being as straight-forward as it is however, describing it accurately isn't the easiest task. Imagine some of the atmospherics and instrumentation associated with black metal but with certain elements of shoegaze rock and arguably pop music, particularly in the construction and pacing of the tracks. Distorted tremolo-picked riffs buzz beneath the upbeat drum beats that take as much from power metal as black metal. Cover them with with clean male vocals under a barrage of space-like effects and you're all but covered. It's a strange sound that somehow manages to sound natural and integral, and not only that but it's written well and is relatively reserved. The EP consists of two metal tracks along with two ambient 'interludes' that break them up and these tracks are varied enough to keep you interested right to the end - even if that end comes far too soon.

The more black metal tinged song, 'The Stargazer', is a catchy affair with some great guitarwork and riffs strung together with a rather conventional song structure which surprisingly doesn't detract from the freshness of the song. The vocals are right at the forefront, rather different from the shoegaze-black-metal bands that hide behind a barrage of guitar, though soaked in effects to sound very distinctive - and it serves the atmosphere very well. The only real complaint is that the drums become repetitive and lifeless by the end of the track but the song still feels shorter than it actually is, which is impressive. The second metal track, Lightspeed, is much of the same but not too similar to feel like a rehash with the drumbeats and progressions that almost remind me of power metal but with all of the atmospherics and flair of the first track - it's an interesting rendition with very few flaws to speak of and much to praise, the vocals being quite the highlight here.

Astronoid takes many of the tropes of the relatively new 'blackgaze' movement and none of the elements that can be used as a crutch - Stargazer sounds confident and direct, as well as right on the money as far as making a sound like this work. Where pop and black metal sound like they work on a complete antithesis to each other, Astronoid do justice to both and come away with an EP that's enjoyable enough to claim that the only real issue is the lack of length. Stripped down without being barren, straight-forward without being contrived; Stargazer is an enjoyable EP that will leave you wanting more and subsequently, wondering why there isn't more of it already.



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user ratings (23)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
July 17th 2013



8581 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

been listening to this quite a bit so i thought i'd review it [:

streaming here: http://astronoid.bandcamp.com/

Digging: Triptykon - Melana Chasmata

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
July 17th 2013



14487 Comments


sounds like an 80's arcade machine

Digging: Ian Anderson - Homo Erraticus

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
July 17th 2013



14487 Comments


the band name i mean, sounds interesting tho gonna listen

SCREAMorphine
July 17th 2013



1704 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm really enjoying this.
Great review.

DShredder
July 17th 2013



5 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Great review. Well said.

BallsToTheWall
July 17th 2013



44164 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I'd rate it higher if it was longer.

TheSpirit
July 17th 2013



16659 Comments


thats what she said

Digging: Sexdrome - Grown Younger

zaruyache
July 17th 2013



4799 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good review!

Digging: The Great Old Ones - Tekeli-Li

MosesMalone
July 17th 2013



1823 Comments


Kinda sounds like Tesseract meets blackgaze. Not bad.

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
July 18th 2013



8581 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

not sure how that comparison makes sense but knock yourself out

MosesMalone
July 18th 2013



1823 Comments


Just don't think about it and go with it.

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
July 19th 2013



8581 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i can dig that

BallsToTheWall
July 19th 2013



44164 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

They just need to keep making tracks like The Stargazer. Fuck, now I feel like playing Marioc Kart on Rainbow Road after consuming a mountain of pixie stick powder.

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
July 19th 2013



8581 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i should make a band called the gray fox

Catatonic
July 19th 2013



96 Comments


I listened to The Stargazer and couldn't stand the vocals, are the vocals the same in all of their songs? I could find out, but, you know.

Digging: Nocturn (Chile) - Nocturnal Sky

lotsajoy
July 20th 2013



12 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Thanks for the great review, Joey-boi. I think I despise you now a little less than I did before.

sixdegrees
July 20th 2013



15718 Comments


this is interesting

Digging: TIMO DA LEGEND - molsom love/my life

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
July 20th 2013



8581 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I listened to The Stargazer and couldn't stand the vocals, are the vocals the same in all of their songs? I could find out, but, you know.


they are, yeah. if the vocals aren't your thing i doubt you'll dig this.

Thanks for the great review, Joey-boi. I think I despise you now a little less than I did before.


i thought my sleeping peonies review was better [: [: [: (joke, i might delete that, idk, i've wrote some dumb shit in my time) but yeah, you're welcome!

Imperial
July 22nd 2013



1681 Comments


The first track is so good. Give me an album of the first track and you've got a great album.

lotsajoy
July 22nd 2013



12 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

http://www.khrysanthoney.com/interviews/astronoid.php ---- Here's Astronoid's first interview.





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