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Astral Path - Ashes Dancer

Astral Path
Ashes Dancer
by Garrett Davis at 09 December 2016, 3:19 PM

ASTRAL PATH are an Italian band from Milan who formed back in 2011. Their major stylistic distinctions lie in their Prog Rock, Swedish Death Metal, and Post Rock influences. On the whole, I find their sound to be reminiscent of OPETH and BLACK CROWN INITIATE with a kind of Indo-Asian twang to some sections that make it have an almost spiritual edge. There are tempo changes and mixtures of Prog and Death style vocals that clash and blend for some interesting variety; but it doesn’t ever really mingle as smoothly as you might want it to.

"Journey" (an instrumental track) commences the record with haunting reverberating notes that sound like a mixture of pipe organ and chimes with a resonance that could rattle your chest. “Blinded” takes off with soaring guitar riffs, Prog precision and gritty Death Metal vocals. The monotone but resonant vocals here remind me of MARILYN MANSON. “B.L.C.” introduces more interesting vocals, with conflicting Death and Prog voices clashing phenomenally. “Prelude” is a short instrumental that is peaceful, like a palette cleanser, but it ties the Prog and Death tones of the album together.

The title track, “Ashes Dancer” is an interestingly named piece that starts with a mellower almost meditative sound before dropping hard; the resonant monotone vocals instil an otherworldly feeling along this offering. “Drag Me Down” has some pretty great solos and is a really good track. “Silent Whispers” feels a bit more like a Prog-Speed Metal tune, which is a good thing, for it allows the band to explore some technical playing before “Oblivion” wraps things up.

One of my only real complaints is the inclusion of two separate instrumental tracks - each about a minute long. Instrumental tracks are absolutely OK in my book, but short ones that could easily be tacked onto another track are a little harder for me to excuse. I don’t think that in this case the band members were unjustified in making these separate pieces, but I still feel that having two tracks like that is padding the track list a bit; but it is all so well produced and crystal clear that I can’t really hold that against them. My only other comment is that while I enjoyed “Ashes Dancer”, there are other Prog Death albums out there that bring a bit more to the table.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 9

3 Star Rating

  1. Journey
  2. Blinded
  3. B.L.C.
  4. Prelude
  5. Ashes Dancer
  6. Drag Me Down
  7. Silent Whispers
  8. Oblivion
Jasmine Ljuba Canti - Bass
Francesco La Porta - Drums
Simone Catania - Guitars
Leonardo Santini - Keyboards
Gabriele Papagni -Lead Guitars
Eugene Yu - Vocals
Record Label: 7hard Records


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