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Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Out Of The Beyond 19

Astra: The Weirding

Hailing from San Diego Astra peddle a very strict style of psychedelic/progressive rock that was born in the 1970's. They meld King Crimson, Pink Floyd, with Yes and then layer it with more mellotron and mini moog than Opeth could ever dream of. Both Richard Vaughan and Conor Riley handle vocals, guitars and the keyboards (of which there are lots folks) the vocals are very much in the style of Jon Anderson however it is the instrumentation that is at the forefront of the band they kick out the jams on the doom laden 15 minute title track and also on the 17 minute plus Ouroborous that snakes along as the central instrumental. All in all this is a long strange trip form a band that only have one card but they play it well. The production is a little tinny and quiet which means that Brian Ellis' guitar solos are not as powerful as they could be and the bass and drums are a little buried in the background. A good album from a band that stays true to their roots. 7/10

Kyrbgrinder: Cold War Technology

Formed by Johanne James the drummer of well-known British Prog-metallers Threshold, Kyrbgrinder are a power trio that delve into alternative metal with handfuls of funk metal thrown in for good measure. Johnanne handles the vocals and drums (both of which he does flawlessly) he is supported by guitarist Tommy Carris and bassist Alberto Flaibani. James' vocals have more than a hint of Benji Webbe about them and the tracks are all funky, groove laden Alternative rockers with opener Cynical World being a scorcher. The influences are multiple but you can hear heavy metal on People Of The Free World, Pearl Jam on I Wish I Could and also a tribute to the alternative band with their cover of Nirvana's Heart Shaped Box which is brilliantly different without changing too much of the original. This is different to Threshold in a good way and shows that all the myth's surrounding drummer/vocalists are wrong (just don't mention Phil Collins). 8/10 

Children Of Nova: Impossible Landscape

Muse. There we are if you like Muse then you will like Children Of Nova if not go to another review. Children Of Nova hail from San Diego and play Alternative/progressive rock music filled with atmospheric guitars and Matt Bellamyesque falsetto vocals from frontman Teo. The album kicks off with Erratic which is more of a poppy quality and even has some Radiohead influences, the title track sounds like 30 Seconds To Mars (albeit without the pretentious Jared Leto). The band are incredibly American sounding on the first half of the album however from Feel Alive the band morph into the aforementioned Devon rockers. The guitars are excellent and have clean resonance throughout the rhythm section hold their own also and the whole album is bolstered by clean production. The band are very talented and definitely deserve a listen because of that however they may need to find their own sound before they can really take off (that or kill off Muse.) 7/10

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