band: From Astral Planes album: 2012 promo year: 2012
genres: doom metal, post-metal origin: USA
ENTER THE ASTRAL PLANE
Sometimes one just wakes up in the middle of the night and wonders oneself why some really worth listening music just doesn’t get the attention it should receive. Specially in the circles involving doom metal, being a band followed by a considerable crowd is more eccentric than being a band known by a couple of human beings, it doesn’t matter how nice, original and out of this doomed planet is your music. This is the situation in which From Astral Planes dwells. This extremely underground band hails from Rochester, New York. I ran into this project because of its line-up: drummer and frontman of From Astral Planes is Chris Dalcin, the man behind the now legendary, ultra depressive 90’s band …And Here I Lie. After writing music under the moniker of Elusive Travel (which seems to remain as an active project), Chris Dalcin is back in the stage with From Astral Planes. The project has not much time around, they started out last year and, as far as I know, they have just published a couple of songs and packaged them into this short untitled promo album which is, actually, limited to 250 copies. These two songs are entitled “The Chew of Ropes” and “Lazy Pond”.
From Astral Planes is dark, enigmatic and depressive. Not wedded to down-tempo of doom metal, the sound of this band is far of being foreseeable, monotonous and monolithic. The band seems to aim to sound mysterious and fitting with what one expects to hear when realizes about the band’s name. The guitar work, for example, features clean guitars, nice riffs and solos, claiming to be the element driving the music. Riffing, drum tempo and some solos show a clear influence of Katatonia, perhaps “Tonight’s Decision” era is the most persistent thing that come to my mind by listening to this couple of songs. Some acoustic passages are featured as well in beautiful moments of the songs.
Really interesting are the vocals in this album, a total of three entities haunting the sound of From Astral Planes. They, alongside with a nice keyboard work, set the atmospheric outlook of the band. The first vocal style is a clean enigmatic voice, perhaps evoking Canaan’s Mauro; the second and the third one walk together by the hand during the most extreme passages, they are quite deep growls and harsh black-metalish screams. Actually, some may think that they sound way too brutal for the approach of the music, in the beginning I thought so. Nevertheless, this is one of the things that make the band so interesting. This unique blend of vocals performs elegant and puzzling lyrics. Both songs, share this feeling, but I find “The Chew of Ropes” the most doomed one, it actually features the slowest moment in the album.
From Astral Planes is not afraid of looking back to the past in …And Here I Lie, there are some ties in the sound of both bands, fans of …And Here I Lie will certainly enjoy this one. This album shows a well worked and structured music. I hope the project continues and we can listen to more of them in the short future…