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Astral Sleep – Astral Doom Musick

Astral Sleep
Astral Doom Musick
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 17 July 2020, 4:14 AM

ASTRAL SLEEP is a psychedelic doom band from Finland, formed in 2004.  “Astral Doom Musick,” is their third full length album; they also have a demo and two EP s under their belt. This album is made up of four tracks, with a total run time of 43 minutes.  As expected, there is just one track here under eleven minutes as the band goes for longer song structures.  Most importantly, the band isn’t playing long songs just for the sake of it.  Truthfully, every song is here is multi layered with a lot of variety and directions happening.

Their overall sound takes the psychedelic aspect and mixes it with death metal and a lot of melody. Clean vocals are prevalent as well and, while not  as strong as the death growls, they do fit the nature of the music rather well. The first track, “Vril,” begins with strong blasts of percussion, a simple but effective riff, and lead guitar that adds in the psychedelic ambiance.  Around the 1:43 mark, the song begins to focus more on the riffs with a slow grinding chug with clean vocals, somewhere between a wail and. power metal shout, resting on top.  Drums/percussion builds up the tension about a quarter of the way thru with sinister spoken word and a tribal like cadence. From here, the song builds up into a rage with death growls leading the way.  The later half of the song is built around soaring cleans, swirling lead guitar, clean instrumentation, and ambient tones.

Integratron,” begins a with more immediate force and a healthy dose of sludge added in. These riffs dig in hard and never let up, pushing ever forward and collecting damage along the way. The cleans that follow are catchy and help the song flow smoothly to the four minute mark of psychedelic doom jams .  The mid portion of the song is clean instrumentation that makes the song that much more mysterious, a tapestry of metallic psychosis that is as sorrowful as it is beautifully well done.  Towards the song’s end there is a brief but very good section that is suddenly ripped away by lighting fast, intense death metal.

Schwerbelastungskorper” drops the hammer early with a blanket of electric haze covering the landscape. The death growls are frighteningly deep, lending the song a funeral doom feel.  About halfway through the song opens up with more complex riffs and drums that up the tempo but rhythm guitar that keeps it firmly planted in doom. The later half of the song is a strange passage of seemingly random noises and odd wails that give way to rising keys and higher pitched death growls, very searing and tortured. “Aurinko ja kuu,” is the final track and it has a melodic Gothic embrace in the track’s early minutes.  The layered vocals add in some folk elements, for a variety that works very well for the band’s sound.  After another passage of ambient noises and clean instrumentation, the rest of the song returns to the darkness and is considerably heavier.

Astral Doom Musick,” is a solid slab of psychedelic doom that might also appeal to people who want to get into longer songs but are not ready to wade into the waters of funeral doom.  As the album displays a wide variety, both traditional doom and melodic death/doom fans will also want to check this out.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Vril
2. Integratron
3. Schwerbelastungskorper
4. Aurinko ja kuu
Jaakko Oksanen – Bass, Percussion, Orchestrations
Markus Heinonen – Vocals, Guitars, Percussion, Orchestrations
Jiri Pyorala – Drums, Percussion
Aaro Haverinen – Guitars, Percussion, Kantele
Record Label: Saarni Records


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