Your bard's tale
-- Astralium --
|■||Roberta Pappalardo||Vocals, Piano, Orchestral Arrangements|
|■||Giuseppe Pappalardo||Bass, Orchestral Arrangements|
|■||Salvo Grasso||Vocals, Drums, Orchestral Arrangements|
Review written by Nathalie “Smaggie Shredder” Van Hecke.
Astralium is an Italian symphonic metal band they started out in 2010 as “Black Roses” but changed their name in 2014 to Astralium after achieving their first stable line up. In 2017 they started working on their debut album “Land of Eternal Dreams,” which they’ve now released under the Italian record label Rockshots Records.
When I first heard “Remembrance,” the album’s first song, it literally sent shivers down my spine! This orchestral intro is so beautiful and sweeps you out of this world straight into a magical fantasy world! “The Journey,” the second song on the album, fluently goes along with the first song that you wouldn’t even notice the transition. It’s a beautiful tune that bursts with energy and orchestral power backed up by heavy guitar riffs. The next song “Rising Waves from the Ocean,” is significantly faster and heavier with bigger emphasis on the metal instruments compared to the earlier two songs. Then come the songs “My Life is my Eternity” and “Whisper in the Silence,” both of them strike more of a balance between the heavy and symphonic elements and both having frequent tempo changes and many vocal exchanges between main vocalists Roberta and Salvo. The sixth track, “Hope is Gone,” is a slower song with mellowing vocals but the aggressive drum beats in the beginning and end of the tune do offer a nice twist.
“Breath of my Soul” is the most intimate song on the album with gentle piano tunes and drumbeats dominating this particular track alongside occasionally appearing violins and guitars. Things go back to the high-octane symphony with “A Dream’s Elegy” and Astralium gets really cinematic with the song that comes thereafter, “Seven Seas, Seven Winds.” Heavy orchestration, crisp bass lines, blast beats, harsh male vocals and frantic female vocals. The interlude “Ethereal Voices from the Forest” is very meditative with soft violins, gentle drums and Middle-Eastern inspired chants that ventures into “The World of Unknown” a smooth sailing song with has some of Roberta’s most soprano vocals on the album. And finally the album ends with “Hidden Conspiracy,” another symphonic metal tune that mixes all of the aforementioned elements together for one last, epic ride.
“Land Of Eternal Dreams” is a concept album about dreams and the astral universe, but also about the fantasy world that lives within our imagination. It’s a musical journey through imaginary stories about myths and legends from the past. Only Astralium doesn't specifically mention what myths or legends they refer to so that leaves a lot open to personal interpretation. I'm not really sure if I personally like that highly ambiguous storytelling or not but I let you be the judge.
But what I definitely like is this album’s musical prowess. Astralium’s debut release is a passionately made symphonic album with heavy, power and progressive metal influences, epic choirs, high pitched male and female vocals and plenty of baroque/magniloquent arrangements. If you enjoy classic symphonic acts like Nightwish, Epica or Delain then Astralium is well worth checking out! Enjoy “The Journey.”
Personal rating: 4,5/5