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Astra - The Black Chord CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.99 | 434 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Vintage atmospheric psychedelic prog

Well, I dunno if that is the right category for the music of Astra. Well, for most of you, you will find this album as retroactive prog music in the past as you might find elements of Pink Floyd, Nektar, Hawkwind, Genesis and bits of ELP. But for me this can be categorized as new inventions influenced by vintage prog sounds and the band has successfully crafted the music uniquely - hey, try to guess any band on planet earth that sounds similar with their music! It's hard, really. You might find in some style of keyboard or guitar that is similar. But I really don't care who actually influence the band as I enjoy the music very well.

The first thing I like about the music is how it flows in crescendo from basically silent part and it goes faster as demonstrated by the opening track Cocoon (8:45). Oh man .... I do enjoy the flow of the music which moves eventually from the slow parts into much dynamic parts with great combined work of guitar and keyboard. The second track The Black Chord (14:59) has different style but still find its roots of seventies prog sounds. You might find some nuances of King Crimson as well right here with this track.

The second thing I like about this album is - of course - the vintage sounds that blend nicely seventies sounds into modern prog Look at the second track which happens to be the album title, you find everything you expect from seventies prog. Not only that, the melody through its vocal line is marvelous! You might find a nuance of King Crimson's 21st Century Schizoid Man but played in psychedelic style. It sounds awkward but it results great music and excellent listening experience!

The third thing I love is the composition. It has basically strong and memorable melody - try second track Black Chord or sixth track Barefoot In The Head - even though other tracks have great melody as well. The harmonies resulted from contributions of musical instruments - guitar and organ / mellotron are really excellent. There are many great guitar solo combined with mellotron / organ work and very good vocal line.

Overall, this is an excellent addition to any prog music collection. For those who were there in the seventies, I guarantee you would love this album as you would find elements that connect you directly to your teenage world. Try first and second track, you will be amazed! And then go spin the last track, I am sure you agree with me. Otherwise, how prog are you man? ..... Keep on proggin' ...!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Gatot | 4/5 |


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