In the Gaze of the Gods

Written by: BV on 06/06/2013 16:23:04

Astralnaut is a stoner-rock quintet hailing from Northern Ireland. They formed in late 2011 and have since been releasing a steady flow of singles and EP’s to generally positive reactions. - Which could be seen with the release of last year, their EP ”Back to the Bog” which our writer AP praised for its muscular riffs, psychedelic jams and gloomy nuances. The question that remains now is; have Astralnaut developed on their new release “In the Gaze of the Gods”? Well, we’re about to find out.

The album is kicked off in the right direction with “Arab Spring”, a muscular and predominantly heavy journey through the sludgy depths of the stoner-rock spectrum. The groove of the track is phenomenal and instantly tickles my memory and sends it off in the directions of Clutch, The Sword as well as the psychedelically tinged jams of Sungrazer.

As the journey continues into the single “Emerald Lord of Pleasure” we’re treated to a track that is not quite as heavy as “Arab Spring” – as a matter of fact the heaviness is greatly downplayed in favor of a slightly more old-school rock n’ roll attitude that is delivered with a swagger greatly reminiscent of bands like Humble Pie or even Led Zeppelin in slightly heavier versions. As such, one could argue that “Emerald Lord of Pleasure” delivers in the single format as the downplaying of the heavy sounds will inevitably make it easier to get through for newcomers to the stoner spectrum. Furthermore it also serves to further the variation on the EP so as to not become a dull and monotonous journey through monolithic riffs and excruciatingly tight drum beats.

The weakest track on the EP, “The Oath”, stands out as a prime example of the fact that heavier doesn’t equal greater and the monolithically heavy riff proves to fall short in the area of memorable moments, making the track itself rather easily forgettable in spite of some excellently executed vocal work.

All in all I would deem this a slight improvement on their last release and I am quite confident that, when the time comes for their debut full-length, it will at the very least be quite an interesting one. Keep going in this direction, because something seems to do the trick.


Download: Arab Spring, Emerald Lord of Pleasure, Urban Brawl
For The Fans Of: Clutch, Monster Magnet, Sungrazer, The Sword

Release Date 13.04.2013

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