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Astral Decay – Through Storms of Blood and Steel [EP]

astral decay – through storms of blood and steel [ep]


In recent years, there has been a small revival of bands attempting to explore the more “brutal” side of Melodic Death Metal – spearheaded by acts such as Dungeon Serpent, Draghkar, Cemetery Dwell, etc. This loose association of bands have all made great strides in reminding the Death Metal community at large that balancing melody and brutality is completely possible. Joining this nascent movement is Astral Decay, a one man project hailing from Tennessee that is the brainchild of Alexander Pippin. This short 3 song demo is a pretty rough, but promising contribution to this growing field.

Much like the other projects here, Astral Decay opts for deep gutturals, chunky harmonized rhythmic sections and blast beats to effectively balance the marriage of crushing Death Metal with melodic passages. What Astral Decay does differently is composing much more free flowing and wild guitar solos that feel a bit more in line with the traditional Gothenburg sounds of In Flames or even some hints of Carcass. This can be seen with the intro to “Desolate Eternity”, which immediately hooks you with its flashy style of guitar playing. The experimentation really helps give the young act a fresh touch among the crowd. Of course, given this is a one man projects, there are some problems that Pippin should work on for future releases. Firstly, the mixing could improve as the guitar sound very buried compared to the vocals. The second would be for him to hopefully find a real drummer instead of relying on a drum machine, as the inclusion of more interesting fills could really add another layer of dynamism to the music.

With that being said, these are issues that have a relatively easy solution and are made all the more excusable by the fact the person behind this project is only 16 years old – an age most of us were only barely thinking in our heads what music we´d put out if we had the chance. For me, Astral Decay has the foundations for what can be an excellent band, it’s just a matter of continuing to refine the small details that will elevate this band further.

Astral Decay

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