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Astral Sleep - Unwakening
Hearing the name Astral Sleep, many people will automatically think of the song with the same title from Tiamat. This Astral Sleep is a Finnish doom quartet, which has been around for a few years now. This is their first attempt to bring us the bleak, misanthropic sound of the Finnish landscapes.

Astral Sleep is a doom/death-metal band that tries to put experimental elements and influences in their sound. The base is solid, heavy but simple doom/death-metal in the vein of Winter, Reverend Bizarre and (old) Paradise Lost. In the progress of the album we hear their singer Markus, using his voice in all kinds of ways; low deep grunt, chanting voice and even an occasional power-metal voice (which sound like he’s killing a cat). The use of style-strange instruments like a harmonica and the use of strange samples, gives this band a sound that is sometimes hard to place.

Not everything works in their advance, but sometimes it gives them the necessary original own identity the band needs. Especially the deep, low grunt of Markus is one of the strongest points. Also the use of odd keyboard and sampling effects work in their advance. The simple doom/death-metal base, that carries the songs, could use a bit more attention. When the structures of the songs are worked out a bit better, this album would be fucking killer!

The highlight of the album is the song ‘Expression’. This song contains samples of sea and birds and an acoustic guitar intro, which slowly evolves into a dirty heavy, doom song. The usage of the harmonica gives the song a strange but pleasant feel. It almost sounds like they tried to make a doom-version of a “cumbahya” campfire song.

Astral Sleep is a decent doom/death-metal band, which dares to be different in some ways. Unfortunately I think the band needs to focus a bit more on their song writing, but I’m confident enough that this band will evolve them for the better.
Astral Sleep - Unwakening
61/1001Details Solitude productions
Released on Saturday Feb 28th, 2009

Writer @RoyBalowski on Wednesday Apr 22nd, 2009

Tags: #Astral Sleep
Tracklisting 01. End Of Ages
02. Cosmic Key
03. Expression
04. Distant Dreams
05. Away From The World
Line up Markus Heinonen - guitar, vocals
Rolle Heinonen - guitar
Jaakko Oksanen - bass
Tommi Hayrynen - drums