Astarium – Drum-Ghoul

Astarium are a one-man project. Who knows what came to his mind when writing the songs to “Drum-Ghoul.” I really don’t. “Drum-Ghoul” is only four tracks of a sick, hollow, devilish, and thick atmosphere. All tracks are very long, the opening track, “Hill of Scape-Gallows,” is 16 minutes long, and it’s trip to the most odd, sick, and daring songs I’ve ever listened to. It’s hard to explain how weird “Hill of Scape-Gallows” is, but I’ll try. Picture some out of the box, hypnotic, and twisted The Doors keyboards with the shrieking voice of an old wicked witch. If the intent was to get even sicker than all, Astarium sure nailed it. Big time.

The symphonic parts in “Drum-Ghoul” are a hook to thicken the atmosphere or to make it more hypnotic and dazzling. Astarium are really, but really far from any commercial musical conventions. There are no choruses; the keyboard leads all the time sometimes as a church organ, other times sounding as kid’s toy or as a symphonic instrument; the guitars only highlight the peak tempos in the songs and thicken the atmosphere giving the needed heavyness, and their mechanical tone added to the keyboards make the songs even more complex and daring in a slow cadence which helps the songs get creepier; not to mention the haunting voices that can gray your mother’s hair. The second track, “Dread Asylum,” mixes different tempos in a very complex way. The voice is in a slow tempo that doesn’t follow the drums, or the guitars, played as if a background sound. “Dread Asylum” intent is to make us trip as if we were in a psycho circus with the keyboard sounding as a hand-organ. “Hospitality of Demon” has a long instrumental intro which makes us think that it will be all instrumental. But that’s a mistake. The voice comes hard and strong making the tempo speed up for a moment, then to retorn to Astarium typical slow and hypnotic cadence. It’s the song that sounds more conventional, but in a Astarium way. What we get with “Pernicious Elixir” is some more shrieking haunting voices with an almost sweet fingered violin ornated with a conventional keyboard. The odd touch here is given by the guitars whose distortion effect has that metallic sound of out of tune, or when its volume is low enough to hear it, but not loud enough to sound properly.

A true non-commercial band is what we get with Astarium “Drum-Ghoul,” who ensure us an unpleasent trip to the unknown, to the very deep circles depths of Earth, to reality…

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