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Astral Filicetum Lunare

By Vinnie Apicella, Contributor
Thursday, March 14, 2002 @ 10:57 AM


(WWIII Music)

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This is where the Black Metal style truly crosses into another dimension. While employing plenty of those otherworldly aspects that make for such an imaginative listening experience, Astral, like the name suggests, takes the journey just a little bit further. Reared in the Czech Republic, they're a mix of medieval grandeur, dark conjuring and cerebral spirits all in one well-packaged symphonic sophomore release. This record can be thought of as more haunting in fact than extreme in terms of what we readily accept as "Black" Metal, though elementally, the components are there.

Instrumentally layered fluidity usually commingles around soothing vocals, piercing screams and disturbing yet enchanting background effects. The songs, often long and circuitous, come sheltered in a Latin vernacular, and employ a degree of Gothic melancholy with pale folklore. Astral's multi-dimensional technical prowess, bathed in black save for an occasional flicker of pleasing candlelight, makes for a resounding resonance of middle age audio/visual on their powerful and spellbinding new release.

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