Sunday, December 13, 2009

Astra - The Weirding

The Weirding was recorded in a garage, and sounds like it. But if you are into 70's Prog rock, this should add to the aura. Astra's freshman attempt is mesmerizing in a nostalgic sort of way for those of us who were alive in the 70's and loved the progressive music of the day with it's melloton induced head spins. We saw no reason for it to disappear. It's nostalgic, only because it did disappear... for the most part. With a new generation, perhaps it's back, and here to stay, for a whole new generation to enjoy without having to have glimpses of the past. Astra's "The Weirding" is a bold attempt to slice into that not so musical mayhem that is Brittney Spears and 50 cent. An attempt to bring real music to the fore and perhaps musicianship to our ears.

To say this album is retro sounding would be a vast understatement. This album could have come out about 1974 and would have fit right in. The band's sound reminds me of the more pscyh oriented stuff from early Black Sabbath mixed with "Echoes" era Pink Floyd. The band is not all that far removed from modern day stoner rock bands such as The Sword either. The 8 tracks here are rather long and plodding, but to my ears they pretty much all work. I like the whole thing, but the tracks "Rising Of The Black Sun", "The Weirding", "Broken Glass", "The Dawning Of Ophiuchus", and "Beyond To Slight The Maze" are my favorites. The one drawback of the album is the actual recording itself. The production is pedestrian at best, sounding like it was recorded in a very lo-fi situation. This muddy mix again makes the album sound retro, but with proper modern production I think this thing could have sounded a heck of a lot better and would have been more effective. Sound problems aside, I think this is one of the best albums of the year and I highly recommend it.

1. The Rising Of The Black Sun 2. The Weirding 3. Silent Sleep 4. The River Under 5. Ouroboros 6. Broken Glass 7. The Dawning Of Orphiucus 8. Beyond To Slight The Maze


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