ASTARIUM "Epoch of Tyrants"
One man project from Russia which is active since 2005. It is actually quite impressive to do everything on his own for such long time, at least with this album. I like to watch war movies and Sin who is a main brain of Astarium used historical pictures that feature art cover to his album. Also, on the record you can find sounds of war like gun fire shooting; suffer of the casualties and other cruelties of battlefield. I do not know if this is authentic as the pictures but I assume Sin wanted those fragments blended into music, particularly be kept in a realm of real war. Epoch Of Tyrants is a symphonic black metal album with colossal impact of keyboards on his music. Even guitars are much in background and I wonder if that is an issue of the albums sound. In fact, production to it is not evil sounding, it is just bad. I would appreciate guitars that sound normal but instead it is just noisy and chaotic which is to blame on overall production. Because the album is made amateur ways, do not expect that any element of it (bass, drums, especially guitars...) is recorded up to good standards as it should be in terms of the album. That is why Epoch Of Tyrants is more like demo but better things go with music of Astarium. In the beginning I thought the atmosphere of songs will go more ways, like early Bathory, Graveland and they are but with more Emperor, demo rawness era to it. Epoch of Tyrants is dominated by keyboard parts which orchestrations are quite interesting. This is a reason this album is so called symphonic and a touch of folk and ambient are also present. Vocals are bleak and keen to the most ways of singing in black metal. Guitars are lousy and suppose to bring deeper, abysmal sensations in authors first intentions but it is lost to poor tracking of guitars. Programming of some electronic elements are good addition to the music of the band. Sin has his point in making dark black metal compositions and for most time he found his moments. This is not bad album music wise. I think it is overwhelming in its imperfection but if you let it down in production process - with every album out there, then even most mesmerizing songs are hardly to save.
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