|Review: Astral Sleep - Unawakening|
Label: Solitude Productions
Year released: 2008
Genre: Doom Metal
Review online: June 7, 2009
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Astral Sleep are a Finnish band making their debut on Solitude Productions, a label which has gone nuts signing every obscure Doom band they can find. Astral Sleep are, thankfully, one of their good discoveries. I was expecting something more funeral and extreme, but really this is a more eclectic band than that.
Astral Sleep start with a slow and melodic basis not too far removed from bands like My Dying Bride or November's Doom's older albums. This has elements I associate with Doom/Death, but it's not just that. They also throw in some Funeral Doom-style drone, some good clean singing, and often a very retro Doom-riff vibe that recalls Sabbath along with some fine leadwork. The whole does not come out sounding like an imitation off any one band or subgenre, but instead is a refreshing sound that is all the more interesting because you never know where they will go next. Hell, they even pull out a frigging harmonica a few times and actually make it work. The style is a bit disjointed in places, and does not create as much atmosphere as maybe it could have, but Unawakening is still a highly entertaining listen for fans of Doom.
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