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ASTRALIA

Psychedelic/Space Rock • Italy


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Astralia biography
Italian act Astralia was formed in the second half of the 90's, consisting of Stefano Borga (vocals, flute), Dario Andreella (keyboards, trumpet & whistle), Giovanni Binato (guitars), Riccardo Lorriggiola (bass, stick) and Massimo Loriggiola (drums).

In 1999 they started recording their debut album "Connected", issued by progressive rock specialist label in 2000.

The album got many favourable reviews from all over the world; but for one reason or another nothing more was heard of from this act for several years after this. They did play the occasional concert in those years, and as most bands have a line-up change was in store too - Borga left, replaced by Massimiliano Biolo (vocals). But by and large the band kept a rather low profile, at least towards a foreign audience.

In 2008 they reappeared with a demo, and early in 2009 a 4-track EP was self-released by the band. Apparently they are now well under way with the creation of their second full length venture, and judging by the critics their first one got, it should be an effort that will please many fans of progressive rock.

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ConnectedConnected
Mellow Records
Audio CD$24.11
OsmosisOsmosis
Ma.Ra.Cash
Audio CD$24.11
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ASTRALIA discography


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ASTRALIA top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 2 ratings
Connected
2000
3.32 | 6 ratings
Osmosis
2011

ASTRALIA Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

ASTRALIA Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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ASTRALIA Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
The Flock
2009

ASTRALIA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Connected by ASTRALIA album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.00 | 2 ratings

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Connected
Astralia Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars From Padova hails this Italian group, formed in 1999 and built around brothers Riccardo Loriggiola (bass) and Massimo Loriggiola (drums).In chronological order they were joined by singer Stefano Borga (with whom the brothers had worked together in a prog cover band), guitarist Giovanni Binato and keyboardist Dario Andreella.No time was lost, as Astralia entered the recording rooms to work on their debut with the support of Mellow Records, finally released after two months of sessions in late 2000 under the title ''Connected''.

Based on a semi-sci fi concept around a wise old man and his journey to the imaginery planet of Astralia, where dreams become the reality, the album explores the gounds of both contemporary and vintage Progressive Rock, passing through spacey themes, intense lyrical moments, instant melodies and heavier, modern-styled grooves.PORCUPINE TREE meet IQ?Maybe this description should do it, as Astralia's patterns contain constant changes between harder, slightly psychedelic parts with edgy guitars and modern sound distortions and old-fashioned Neo/Symphonic Progressive Rock with Borga's voice sounding extremely close to PETE NICHOLS' color, not to mention some lovely guitar melodies and the long, elaborate synth soundscapes of Andreella.Moreover the production and the rhythm section recalls strongly IQ's very early works and some songs contains bits of flute work.Inspirations do not step here.Heavy doses of organ along with more spacey movements remind clearly of monsters of the past like GENESIS and HAWKWIND and the blend by the group eventually works extremely well.A variety of climates should close the soundpicture.From ethereal and sensitive moods and more cosmic territories to powerful musicianship and contemporary stylings, ''Connected'' has a nice and diverse sound all the way.

This album should not be lost and forgotten as many other works that were not fairly promoted.A good example of Progressive Rock music, that scans many different music styles and ages of prog history.Warmly recommended.

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 Osmosis by ASTRALIA album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.32 | 6 ratings

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Osmosis
Astralia Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

3 stars Dissonance or Dark atmospheric music ? There's a very thin line between these two extremes, of which one I hate and second one I can enjoy quite a bit. Hey, this album even isn't your normal cup of tea that is Psychedelic Prog - it's psych only in its meaning - crazy amalgam of various forms (strong-bass based parts reminiscent of likes Beardfish, heavier graduating parts of Birds & Buildings, previously mentioned dark/silent parts and so on, many more follow). Other than this, they rock with Rock, oh yeah, there is a lot of Prog Rock in their performance.

Really weird bunch of ... sounds. But I cannot say it is bad music, it is simply too uneven. Better 3.

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 Osmosis by ASTRALIA album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.32 | 6 ratings

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Osmosis
Astralia Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Music By Mail

4 stars It's my first encounter with Astralia, I didn't even took notice of the name before. What I heard here is an extremely well crafted album, with a rare sense of balance, this at several levels; in the atmospheres first, spanning from lush atmospheric sequences to really hard-edged ones; in the references to vintage prog versus modern prog, from VDGG to Porcupine Tree for example. There are strong elements in this music, first of all the warm, biting and fighting vocals of Massimiliano Biolo! Backed by a rock-solid rhythm section (kudos to the bass and Stick playing), he's nailing it down throughout with a voice that bears power and will! Then the keyboard chair; from the opening and closing church organ to a huge arsenal of sounds, all sounds are worked out and processed with care! Finally, the production that is as much satisfying as the music: clear, rich and detailed. So, yes, it worked fine for me, my ears and brain! Plenty of details spice it up nicely, like this bouzouki fighting against a wall of sound or this crazy voice sampling used in a short keyboard solo at break neck speed on track 7; or the nearly funky wah wah keyboard comping, alternated with Crimsonian syncopated guitar lines on track 4; you may even be reminded of the Crimson versions with Trey Gunn but it only remains a short flash passing by, the music has its own pace and story and it will keep you busy until the exit!

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 Connected by ASTRALIA album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.00 | 2 ratings

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Connected
Astralia Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars ASTRALIA are a band from Italy and this is their first record, a concept album about an old sage named Rabin who travels to this planet called Astralia.The songs deal with different subjects as Rabin journeys through this beautiful world with it's special music.The band compare their music to RUSH, QUEENSRYCHE and KING CRIMSON on their web-site. It is quite heavy at times with lots of guitar and drums, but there is a spacey element that constantly appears, and even a Neo flavour that is probably more to do with the singers vocals sounding somewhat like Peter Nichols from IQ.

"Connected" is the only instrumental and my favourite track. It opens with some sampling before a guitar melody arrives and some chunky bass. Actually the bass absolutely dominates the first two songs. Amazing ! It can be heard in a limited way in the third song before taking a back seat the rest of the way. There are some blazing guitar solos that come and go on this first song that has a spacey ending. "Dedalo's Torment" deals with difficult father and son relationships. The spacey atmosphere from the first song blends into the start of this one. Vocals and heavy bass come in. It really kicks in after a minute. Oh,yeah ! The climate changes a lot in this song but the bass is so prominant and the heavy passages are great. "Signals From the Unconscious" deals with the topic of dreams being a mind trip. There is singing and speaking in this very average tune.

"The Conquest" is about searching for self confidence and is the longest track. Another spacey intro changes to a catchy beat with pulsating keys and some beautiful flute. There is some soaring guitar and passionate vocals as well. Lots of spacey synths to end it. "Genesis Doubt" opens with piano and becomes bombastic with some fusion like guitar. The heaviness comes and goes."Vagrant Thought" is all about the Nichols sounding vocals and heavy guitar. "Breaking the Silence" is about troubled relationships. The metal-like intro is fantastic. Lots of terrific organ in this one. "The Arrival-Part 1&2" opens with the sound of a party going on before we are treated to some beautiful acoustic guitar melodies, reserved vocals and flute. Part 2 starts almost 5 minutes in and consists of a lot of spacey synths.

I really liked some of these songs,and loved some of the heavy guitar driven passages. Not quite enough here in my opinion to warrant 4 stars though, but a good debut nonetheless.

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