Astrophobos – Remnants of Forgotten Horrors

astrophobosIf you would have tried to sneak this album across my desk back in 95-98, I would have had some choice words for you, for that soaring Swedish death/black metal hybrid ala Dissection, Sacramentum, Eucharist, The Moaning, The Everdawn, etc, was a tired and beaten into the tundra genre (in much the same way New York style brutal death metal was), that rose to power quickly thanks to the successes of the forefathers of the sound, then bloated to a redundant critical mass thanks to greedy labels looking to make a buck off of any band eager to rip off their idols. I was infinitely burnt out on this sound to the point of letting a lot of titles in my collection go that I would later regret as some distance has passed from those days of promotional overkill. Yes… time does indeed heal a lot of minor annoyances, for bands like the amazing Thulcandra and now Sweden’s Astrophobos really resonate within my appreciation for highly melodic, though sharply aggressive blackness with a deathly edge.

Remnants of Forgotten Horrors fails at arriving at an original sense of independence in Astrophobos’ otherwise impressively executed style and sound, but this band does excel at appealing to the nostalgic feelings that dwell in every long standing metalhead. They possess the musical chops to sell their unapologetically plagiarized wares with conviction and fire. With skill and desire in check, how do the songs stack up? Very well. Each track on this album is a brilliantly composed monument to memorable hooks, penetrating twin guitar harmonies and a vocal wickedness that sears the heavens with harshly black screams. In fact, this full-length never loses steam as it progresses along its 44 minute trajectory, with the last song being just as well considered and executed as the lead-off track. A thin though pristine, and even “old” sounding production also suits the feel and material on this time capsule to further drive home the obvious love this trio has for their own country’s musical contribution to the metal continuum.

With an excellent pacing in the tempo and intensity department, Astrophobos can write an infinitely mean, melodically beautiful and aggressively punishing song, but it is not their own spirit that animates this body. Remnants of Forgotten Horrors is well executed and enjoyable enough that I can overlook that and be fully entertained with my time spent with this excellent album and even be so compelled to spin it again after it ends. That to me is the sign of something indeed worth investigating. The past is alive! -Marty
Triumvirate Records

~ by martyworm on February 26, 2014.

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