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Astra - Broken Balance Award winner

Broken Balance
by Joe Paciolla at 16 May 2014, 1:51 AM

Italian band ASTRA is back with a vengeance with their 3rd CD, and this release should definitely spark some serious interest from fans of Progressive Metal served with some testosterone. I wasn’t familiar with the band until this release and it has helped to restore my faith in “old school” Progressive Metal – These days, other than SYMPHONY X and DGM (guitarist Emanuele Casali is also a member of these Italian Prog monsters), not much really grabs my attention these days. ASTRA definitely has a very similar style to the aforementioned bands, but also puts their own spin on things and come up with some serious hooks that have latched onto me and become my most played CD of the month!

From the opening track “Losing my Ego”, the listener is treated to hearing some seriously talented musicians create songs that at times have commercial appeal, but also rock with a heavy Progressive groove. Vocalist, Andrea Casali, (who apparently has taken over the reins from departed vocalist, Titta Tani), does a fantastic job here and brings to mind “The Diveine Wings Of Tragedy” era Russell Allen. The guitar solos, while technical, are not the type that can only be appreciated by musicians. I hear a lot of melody and emotion in Silvio D’onorio De Meo’s skilled playing! The solos are very well written, but the songs themselves just reached out of the speakers and grabbed my attention right from the first spin. “Risk And Dare” currently ranks as my favorite track, but to my ears, there is no filler to be found.

This disc really impressed me and I have to admit that I was skeptical going in as 2 of my current favorite bands are PROTEST THE HERO and INTERVALS - I am totally sold on this one. I could easily see this band playing ProgPower USA in Atlanta, GA next year and being the band of the night. Here’s to hoping that promoter Glenn Harveston hears this band, as it would certainly encourage me to make the trip in 2015.

5 Star Rating

1. Losing my Ego
2. Hole In The Silence
3. Sunrise To Sunset
4. Too Late
5. Broken Balance
6. Faithless
7. Mirror Of Your Soul
8. Risk And Dare
9. Break Me Down
10. Understand
11. Ending Season
12. You Make Me Better
Andrea Casali – Vocals and Bass
Silvio D’onorio De Meo – Lead Guitars
Emanuele Casali - Rhythm Guitars and Keyboards

Filippo Berlini - Drums
Record Label: Scarlet Records


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Edited 26 March 2023

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