Asterous is the debut EP from the Vancouver, Canada-based metal band of the same name. The band are influenced by Rammstein and Pink Floyd and their sound lands somewhere between the two.
By Graeme Smith
Those are their musical influences but thematically the EP draws on the idea of heroes and villains, and the band are big fans of the Batman comic series. Opening track The Fall, a slow-burning piece of melodic metal, is about the character Dick Grayson from the series, who famously loses his parents in a trapeze accident. The album’s lead track Heroes is less subtle on the subject, but takes a fresh take – those who are lauded as heroes have their own insecurities.
If the first two tracks act to ease you into Asterous’s brand of metal, then track three Murder The Machine takes it to a darker place. The riffs get heavy and lead singer Rummy Kandola is supported by Don Beaudion’s gruff chanting. The heavier elements are tempered by quiet interludes, though, with a particularly peaceful keyboard solo that plays things out.
The meditative keyboard carries over to At The Edge, which has a soulful, almost R&B, intro before the familiar electric guitar returns, transforming it into something of a power ballad that is full of desperate emotion.
The EP closes with Afterthought, is similar to At The Edge. The intro is minimal and contemplative. As the track progresses, the keys get more pesante but things are kept stripped back. The overall feeling is that of despair tempered with the slightest of hopes. Sometimes that’s all we need.
Anyone who loves their epic, melodic metal will get a lot of joy from Asterous. I couldn’t help but reminded of Nordic rockers Nightwish as I listened – if you’re a fan of theirs you’ll also love Asterous. If you’re new to the genre, then it’s a great introduction. There are heavy elements but the emphasis here is on the melodies and the storytelling.
Check out Asterous below.