Sometimes there are bands which push the boundaries of music and introduce the listener to immersive melodies beyond their imagination. It’s bands like these that push their respective genres to unbelievable heights. Astronoid‘s Air is not only the best debut record I have heard in ages, but it’s also one of the best records of this year by far. I am very proud today to introduce you to this masterpiece and I hope everyone listening to it will have as much fun as I did with it.
Air is the debut album of Massachusetts based dream thrash outfit Astronoid. It’s a one in a million album that is full of unorthodox mixtures of genres. The influences this record draws from are as vast as they are unique, reaching from shoegaze over black metal to even dream pop. The blend of all of these styles is so brilliantly executed that there is something for everyone.
The first track I want to talk about is “Up and Atom,” the second track on the album. It starts off with a thrashy riff featuring an esoteric note progression. Through heavy use of reverb and delay, the band manages to walk the thin path between thrashing riffs and ethereal dreamscapes. The vocals also have reverb on them and are exclusively sung. There is a guitar solo beginning at around the four minute mark that blends the song together beautifully and leads the song as much as the vocals do. You could think of it as a second voice, harmonizing with the vocals. There are a lot of these lead sections which are very unique and serve the song extremely well.
The next song that really stood out was the title track of the album, “Air.” It’s by far the most reverb heavy song and has a very memorable riff. The drums start off at full speed in this track with double bass and cymbal work that you would typically hear from black or death metal. It really helps the song stay heavy and remain musically ambiguous in its devastating yet dreamy state. The riffs in this song vary from blackgaze style tremolo-picked power chords to metalcore style open note riffs. And of course the band still maintains their cleverly built musical landscape of reverb and psychedelic structures.
I usually offer constructive criticism at this point, but I simply cannot. The album is very well produced, even though it’s very reverb heavy. The vocals are clear, and the notes ring out perfectly. This record is masterpiece and deserves nothing less than our full attention. I’m really glad that I got to review this album, because it doesn’t happen every day to see such a boundary pushing band. I hope to see much more from these guys in the future. And, of course, I hope you all have fun with Air.
FFO: Deafheaven, Alcest, Moon Tooth
Notable Tracks: “Air,” “Up and Atom,” “Obsolete”