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Astronoid – Radiant Bloom Award winner

Radiant Bloom
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 03 June 2022, 1:50 PM

From their EPK, “extremes designate the boundaries of existence. Suspended in a state of constant cosmic flux, we seek balance in the midst of these opposing poles. ASTRONOID divert energy from multiple extremes into an inviting, intricate, and inimitable signature style. The Boston quartet—Brett Boland, Daniel Schwartz, Casey Aylward, and Matt St. Jean—teeter between moments of lush shoegaze and a maelstrom of Blackened Metal bludgeoning under an entrancing hum. The band hone this sonic and thematic harmony like never before on their third full-length album, “Radiant Bloom.” The album contains nine tracks.

“Admin” leads off the album. An electronic swirling of notes fills the opening sequence, along with some majestic melodies. The main riff enters auspiciously and those sweet vocals begin to fill the air. The riff then hardens, but the melodies remain. Beautiful vocal harmonies take the song to completion. “Eyes” begins with a fast-moving riff full of energy and vitality. Soaring melodies resides firmly both in the music and the vocals. The song has cheerful tones and it so easy on the ears. The guitar solo ushers in more layers of guitars and drums. “Sleep Whisper” begins with a slower groove and high-hat crashes. The melody comes pouring out at the chorus in gorgeous notes that almost seem to be alive.

“Sedative” begins with a jaunting jar of guitar and drums working into a fury of melodic tones. They beg you just to sit back and listen to them develop. The vocals soar into the heavens while incredibly tight rhythms hold the song together. “I’ve Forgotten Your Face” is another plentiful offering of lush green fields with brightly colored flowers. You stroll through them as the clouds lift and the sun beams through and warms your body. “Orchid” features a rigid and sturdy riff that allows the melody to escape through the cracks, and it comes like water over a broke dam. The melodies build into a beautiful crescendo until the flowing water subsides. “Drown” hits you with big, bountiful sounds out of the gate that seem to flow all around you. As you soak them in, they lift your spirits and fill you with joy.

“Human” begins with more restrained tones, but the punch of the melody is firm and invigorating. The chorus is full on with luscious and congenial tones, such that just make you feel lucky to be alive. “Decades” closes the album. It begins with fat and fuzzy bass guitar notes, followed by a mid-tempo groove of sparkling guitar riffs. The hefty punch that follows is both emotive and stirring. Thick vocal harmonies come through like a beacon of light that you instinctively follow. The easy moving pace of this song would carry the listener through their toughest challenges. “Don’t ever give up” is the message that I take away.

I did not want this album to end. I remember that the band’s first album was described as “Dream Thrash.” That is a close description of their sound. But they have come further down the past since that debut album. Improvements in production make their sound clearer, yet it still retains that whimsical quality like you are not quite fully awake. The blending of intricate melodies is done with a masterful accession, and the constricted rhythms provide a heavy backbone to the ample bounty of pure and clean melody that follows, as white as the driven snow. I don’t remember an album this bright or authentic in a while.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. Admin
2. Eyes
3. Sleep Whisper
4. Sedative
5. I've Forgotten Your Face
6. Orchid
7. Drown
8. Human
9. Decades
Brett Boland – Vocals, Guitars, Percussion
Daniel Schwartz – Bass, Synthesizers
Casey Aylward – Guitars, Solos
Matt St. Jean – Drums
Record Label: Century Media Records


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