“Astral Magic – Visions Of Infinity”
This is another release that Dr. Space kindly sent my way to review. You will find this album on the Dark Sun Bandcamp page.
This page has Dark Sun releases and Astral Magic releases. Per the page: Dark Sun bass player Santtu has started a new solo project called Astral Magic!
This album is a great combination of space and straight up rock. You will find your foot unconsciously tapping throughout this one. This one has Dr. Space too, but this time he did the mixing and mastering. Here is the lineup.
All music and lyrics by Santtu Laakso. All instruments, vocals and programming by Santtu Laakso except: Martin Weaver: electric and acoustic guitars – Scott Heller: additional synths on Winds of Time – Samuli Sailo: ukulele on Winds of Time
“Chrononaut” is a scorcher of an opener with nods to Hawkwind. This is a straight up rock tune with space effects and churning guitar and boasting VOCALS. Vocals are done bySanttu but I can definitely pick out Dr. Space in the chorus of “Chrononaut”. Most of the space jams I have been listening to of late have all been instrumentals and this was an interesting change of pace. Pretty cool.
“Visions Of Infinity” is a smooth rock tune with so many layers going on. I wish I knew enough to pick out what instrument or device was creating what sound. Everyone blends great together and this track has a spacey sound while still rocking that guitar. Very nice.
“Ancient Mysteries” starts slow with some great space embellishments and then picks up a thumping bass groove. I found myself doing the slow head bob to this one.
“Rocking With The Aliens” is a fun quick one with a driving drum beat. The guitar in this is a quiet wail and soaring near the end into a nice solo jam.
“Onboard The Spaceship” builds slowly and is an instrumental track, definitely emoting the title with lots of sound treatments and nice atmospherics.
“I Was Abducted” sounds a bit like surf music when it opens and is a fun track. The vocals here are pulled up front more and you can really hear the lyrics. I found myself singing this one later. It got in my head. Again a nice solo break later in the song.
“Creatures From Beyond” between the vocal delivery and the theme of the song I got a bit of an ominous feel, but I liked it. The last minute and a half is instrumental and is a great lead in to the next track.
“Winds Of Time” is a synth heavy slower track that feels majestic and powerful building here at the back end of the album. The vocals sound like several voices together here and flow gracefully.
“Wizards” is an uptempo finisher with a slow vocal in the middle taking the beat down for a while then ending with a flurry of atmospheric embellishments and some guitar shredding and spacey waves before fading to black.
This is a fun album, with vocals (!), which was a nice switch. It has elements of spaceiness and jams and atmospherics throughout and is a nice collection. There is a nice mix of fast tracks and slow burns and something for everyone here.
Surprisingly, as I looked at the Shows link on the Dark Sun page it appears that they are playing in BELOIT next weekend. Say what?! They are a long way from home. If your interested you can see them at the Pig Iron Pub on the 17th. Tell them The Aural Retentive sent you!