Denver based Astral Tomb are finally putting out some of their most demiurgic material yet with premier LP “Soulgazer”.
For any sci-fi art nerds out there, one of the finest attributes of this album is the celestial artwork by Russian illustrator Andrei Sokolov originally titled “Black Hole”, attracting listeners (like myself) easily.
Valiant effort by the trio, cosmic Death Metal capturing an old school sentiment while journeying through a conscious expanding occurrence, highlighted on “Inertia (Crashing Through The Doorways of Eternity)” and it’s mind altering outro. Some may be peeved for seeing it’s only five tracks, but with the duration of thirty seven minutes the material written will make up for it.
Led by riffs, there’s a welcoming yet sinister tonality throughout its course. Each track captures the majority of cacophonic atrocity blended with moments of sedated riffs that leave you stargazed, nearly mentally drained from the disequilibrium by the time it’s over. Starting with the longest, “Transcendental Visions” has a lot to take in this roughly thirteen minute tune, coming off as an improv jam session with two parts, vocals being in the first half, the instruments/effects taking over the second that generates an atmosphere of unearthly trepidation. “Be Here Now…” a continuation of a more zany instrumental that is ominously deranged in its composition, as if you’re sinking into a never ending pit of dismay. “Traversing The Wandering Star” has an anxiety inducing opener transmuting into a rough cut discordant number nostalgic to 90s demo quality that once again keeps you on your toes.
Closing out with aptly titled “Ascending Pillar of Light”, love the melodiously pleasant portion of music produced around the :35-2:27 mark before those gut churning caliginous vocals chime in, never overshadowing the riffs arranged that execute this release.
Overall a great initial LP to add to their lucid discography. Cheers! (Tori Belle)