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Friends from Moon – Astray

Friends from Moon
Astray
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 26 April 2022, 4:54 AM

From Bandcamp, “Astray” is an eight-track-long concept album with a heavy existential narrative. It's a pure reflection of a state of mind where you begin to see through the surface of everything, question your worth, willingly detach from the optimist to embrace the pessimist. The songs transition from a happy to a desolate place in a dramatic fashion and are laden with long decayed, delayed sounds. The album contains eight tracks.

“Rage” is the first. It begins with a jovial yet heavy riff and some really nice ambient melodies. The vocals are a combination of clean harmonies with devastating harsh utterances, reminding me of the prowess of Devin Townsend. Man of man do the melodies shine here in lush landscapes. “Rebellion Road” begins with steady drum beats which segue to another happy riff, popping up and down a trail towards a deserved day off. The music borders on Pop offerings and is so catchy and accessible. “The Enemy” is a shorter song focusing on the development of hooks. A warm breeze picks up on a cold but sunny Spring day, but the skies turn grey a bit later, and the day cannot make up its mind.

“Astray” opens with heavy drum strikes and a lot of ambiance. Seguing to clean vocal harmonies, you see a break in the clouds as the sun rays down and warms your face. A stranger walks up towards you dressed in black, and suddenly warning hairs raise up on your neck. “Come Together” features heavy electronica in several waves, pulsing and undulating as if it were alive. “Marvels Beyond Madness” is the longest on the album, at close to seven-minutes in length. Opening with some ominous and strange tones, you get a sense of tension in the air. Heavy accents reign down with guitars and drums, reminding you that you are indeed listening to Metal. “Riverine” is a welcomed departure from the heaviness of the previous track. Soft melodies open the song with clean vocals. It opens up slowly to a crescendo of harmonies before slowly fading away.

“Of The Spirit” closes the album. It features solemn piano notes and some backing atmosphere, with grand symphonic elements. This was quite an odd album with sounds I haven’t heard before. The closest artist I can use to describe them is Devin Townsend…that strange but pleasing Progressive sound that is all over the place, but keeps melody in the forefront of their music. Ritwik Shivam dose a really nice job with the compositions…at times open and airy, while other times punishing and powerful. The cast of singers he has on the album all bring a different dimension to his music. This was a very enjoyable listen.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Rage
2. Rebellion Road
3. The Enemy
4. Astray
5. Come Together
6. Marvels Beyond Madness
7. Riverine
8. Of the Spirit
Lineup:
Ritwik Shivam

Guests:

Prankreet Borah
Aditya Dutta
Pritam Adhikary
Gaurav Basnet
Robin Mathew
Record Label: Independent
     


Rating

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Edited 06 October 2022
 

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