1 June 2016

Astral Path - An Oath to the Void


Astral Path are a Canadian band who Eddie recommended I review as he thought I would like them. Since I trust the guy, I thought why not.

Maroon Sea sets off the album with an atmospheric opening, haunting and, if it wasn't for the haunting tone throughout, could almost be calming. Imagine sitting on a beach in the middle of the night staring up at a cloudless sky that reveals the vastness of space. That's what I get straight away from this track. It sets the scene quite quickly, before giving way to tide and wind background themes. About a third of the way in, it opens up with nice guitar work, building to a lovely crescendo that, on the whole, kind of reminded me of mid-eighties Pink Floyd. I liked it alot.

Track two, An Oath to the Void, leads straight into a powerful and quite sharply defined track that mixes the previous track's eerieness with a more threatening vibe. Towards the back third, it goes quiet, back to the tide and wind again, before a final quarter that ramps it back up again to a cracking finish. 

Between Appalachia and the Shield is a slow starter, building in volume to the slow, methodical and powerful centrepiece. Indeed, it's the most restrained of the tracks and provides a nice tent pole for the album.

A Virulent Delusion is a brash, furious track that starts off at a thousand miles an hour and just keeps you going from there until about half way through when the chanting like vocals slow it down a little. They don't diminish from the track though, it's a belter and no mistake.

The final track, To Vega...Nebulous Anatomy starts with us back at the beach again, before a heavy "heart" beat sets up the introduction proper, dark and prolonged, a twisting journey before a quiet, more restrained middle section. The pace then ups again to another brilliant ending, fitting the "nebulous" of the title very well.

As you may have guessed, I really enjoyed this album. Although a couple of the tracks are north of teen minutes, they never felt as if they were overstaying their welcome. I look forward to the next release from Justin and Ana! As for the score, it's a 9!!!

Favourite track has to be Maroon Sea, it sets the scene for the rest of the album perfectly.

You can buy the album from Avantgarde music here.

An alternative Bandcamp purchase can be made here.

You can follow the band on Facebook here.


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