Review Summary: An ethereal and uplifting listening experience, pairing perfectly with the album’s namesake and cover art.
After two short EPs, Massachusetts’ Astronoid have released their debut LP, Air, on Blood Music. Weaving together a myriad of styles including, post-rock, shoegaze, and black metal, these self-proclaimed “Dream Thrash(ers)” have concocted a tasteful blend of musical genres. The result is an ethereal and uplifting listening experience, pairing perfectly with the album’s namesake and cover art.
The album kicks off with a straightforward melodic post-rock build, drenched in delay and reverb, which is quickly greeted with pounding percussion and saturated guitars. Like a spring breeze, the soaring clean vocals ease their way into the mix and introduce the listener to the weightlessness of Air. The drums kick into double bass, the guitars begin their hypnotic riffing, but the soaring feeling remains ever present. Throughout the entirety of Air, uplifting melodies carry the music in and out of several dynamic shifts. The harmony of blast beats and tremolo riffs, are intertwined with more subdued drumming and hypnotic guitar builds. Above all, however, are the vocals hovering like a cloud amidst the reverie.
It would be a disservice to Astronoid to label them as just another “blackgaze” band. While they share a lot in common with similar acts, such as Deafheaven, the subtle musical variety and fantastic song writing set them apart from their peers. At times the vocals sound like something you’d expect to hear from Circa Survive while other parts are reminiscent of latter day Anathema. There are guitar riffs that could have been written by Scale the Summit and others that would pleasantly sit alongside Van Halen. Astronoid manage to blend all of these ideas into a cohesive 50 minute experience that manages to never stray far away from their distinct sound.
With Air, Astronoid have crafted the kind of album that can be enjoyed actively, due to its intricate nuances, or passively due to its hypnotic, dreamlike allure. By masterfully blending a variety of styles into an overall interconnected sound, Astronoid have made their sound difficult to label, and have produced an album worth checking out for anyone who enjoys progressive music.