I’d like to start this review by giving you some biographical facts about the band. They were provided by the band members themselves on Facebook. “Súl ad Astral began as the solo black metal project of Stephen Fortune at the tail-end of 2011. The first single, “Allure”, was released on January 10th, 2012 through Bandcamp. Inspired by bands such as Lantlôs, Alcest and Explosions in the Sky, “Allure” builds up from a lonely single riff to unrelenting blast-beats and soaring leads and taking the listener through a journey of build-ups and climaxes. Upon hearing this song (posted on the Lantlôs Facebook page), Micahel Rumple took interest in the project, seeking to provide vocals to this concept. After demoing some material, the pair began to work on an album – with Stephen taking the guitar, bass and programming duties and Michael contributing the vocals and lyrics.”
Well, after the band released début full-length album self-titled “Súl ad Astral” in 2013 and a split with Isle of Skye named “The Observant Darkness – The Darkness Observant” also in 2013, 2014 is the year that these talented musicians released Súl ad Astral’s sophomore album “Afterglow”. This post/ black metal band surely lives up the expectations when we read about their influences. The music is well-done, beautiful and elegant. I especially loved the calm part of Dominion of Summer, very ethereal, but never boring. In some songs you can find more experimental elements, almost burlesque, but it’s not a mess or anything like that. You can sense that they were well-thought, that they are an important add to the music.
Still about the songs, they are usually very fast and catchy, even though they still fit the shoegaze/ black metal genre. You can never forget about the tremolo picking in this genre, which is present in Súl ad Astral as well as an unmistakable vision of professionalism while listening to this band. The only aspect that I personally don’t enjoy very much, but again, this concerns my tastes, you may obviously like it very much, are the clean vocals. I prefer the harsh ones on this release.
To finish this review, I, as always when I think a band deserves, ask you to, if you can, obviously, to support the band any way that you can. Promote it, share links on Facebook, tell your friends that enjoy this metal style and last, but not least buy the album. I hope to here more from the in the years to come.
Take care! Until later.
Band: Súl ad Astral
Album: Afterglow (2014)
1. Evening View
2. Dominion of Summer
5. Dozing in the Riptide
Súl ad Astral is:
Stephen Fortune – Guitars, Bass, Programming
Michael Rumple – Vocals, Lyrics
Official Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SulAdAstral
Official Homepage: http://suladastral.bandcamp.com/June 18, 2014