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ASTRA

Progressive Metal • Italy


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Astra biography
ASTRA is a progressive metal band that originally formed in Rome,Italy in 2001 as in instrumental proeject.While the band wanted to play original material,to develop cohesiveness during rehearsal the band started playing tunes by a band that all the members loved...DREAM THEATER.

ASTRA recruited a singer but the line-up would shuffle a bit,going through 2 vocalists and a drummer before the settling down with the final line-up of Titta Tani (main vocals), Emanuele Casali (keyboards and chorus), Andrea Casali (bass and chorus), Silvio D'Onorio De Meo (guitars) and Filippo Berlini (drums).These musicians were veterans and ex-members of some well-regarded Italian progressive metal bands such as DGM,EMPYRIOS,EMPTY TREMOR and DYNAMIC LIGHTS.

Playing DREAM THEATER material ASTRA won the first Italian Official DREAM THEATER Tribute Band Contest.and earned a good reputation by tirelessly gigging around the Italian club scene.At the Italian Dreamers(DREAM THEATER'S official Italian fan club)10 anniversary party ASTRA performed with DREAM THEATER'S Jordan Rudess.ASTRA were named the Official Italian DREAM THEATER Tribute Band from 2002-2006.

During all this time ASTRA wrote,rehearsed and recorded original material,finally releasing their debut album "About Me:Through Life and Beyond" in 2006.

ASTRA signed a record deal with Lion Music Records and are in the process of recording their second album,titled "From Within",which is slated for a 2008 release.

HIGHLY recommended to all fans of quality progressive metal!



Why this artist must be listed in www.progarchives.com :
Approved by the Progressive Metal Team



Discography:
About Me:Through Life and Beyond, studio album (2006)
...

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The WeirdingThe Weirding
Metal Blade 2009
Audio CD$8.43
$6.96 (used)
The Black ChordThe Black Chord
Metal Blade 2012
Audio CD$7.99
$6.09 (used)
Broken BalanceBroken Balance
Scarlet Records 2014
Audio CD$8.88
$7.79 (used)
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ASTRA discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

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

3.50 | 10 ratings
About Me:Through Life and Beyond
2006
3.92 | 21 ratings
From Within
2009
3.21 | 9 ratings
Broken Balance
2014

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

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ASTRA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Broken Balance by ASTRA album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.21 | 9 ratings

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Broken Balance
Astra Progressive Metal

Review by Second Life Syndrome
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I received this new album, "Broken Balance", from Astra without having any previous experience with this progressive metal band. Astra hails from Italy, and shouldn't be confused with Astra, the psychedelic rock band from the USA. I can understand the confusion over the name, as I was even a bit taken aback when this album blazed into my ears. Astra is a far cry from prog rock, and are indeed a full-on progressive metal band.

Yes, the music is pretty loud. Interestingly, I don't hear much of the standard progressive metal styles in their music, though. For this, they should be commended. Indeed, I hear almost nothing of Dream Theater or Symphony X in their style. With a gut-busting punch to the mix of hefty guitars, amazing drums, and throbbing bass; this band seems like a descendant of the likes of Black Sabbath or Dio, even. Yes, their sound does have an 80's hair metal sound to it that I found alternately comforting and disappointing.

Like I said, the guitarwork is superb and really heavy. The riffing is out of bounds on this album, though I don't hear much that I haven't heard in the past---no new twists or anything. The bass is similar in that it is played expertly, but sounds pretty standard. Other elements, such as the keys, are almost completely absent from the album, so I can't really comment on them. The keys are nice when they're there, but they are rare. I must point out, though, that the drummer is simply incredible. Not only is Filippo Berlini fantastically skilled and technical, but he also has a great ear for fills and interesting beats. I applaud him as my favorite aspect of this album, "Broken Balance".

The 80's hair metal vibe is especially pushed by the presence of Andrea Casali. His voice is rather high-pitched, but still strong. It reminds me, in a way, of David Coverdale and company. I don't dislike this, as I still have some fondness left for those guys. However, combine this with uninteresting lyrics that seem cheap, silly, and cheesy at times; and the 80's vibe skyrockets. It's strange, though, as the music itself is really heavy and technical, but the vocals and melodies seem so simple and catchy. The songwriting is fairly strong in terms of accessibility and digestibility. Besides some of the instrumentals, there's nothing on this album that would restrict it to fans of progressive music. Indeed, most of the songs sound very similar, though enjoyable.

So, if you have a love for heavy metal with progressive elements, "Broken Balance" could be an album to hear. Its heaviness is an asset, and not a crutch. It doesn't overindulge in technical frivolities, and Astra has done an admirable job in writing great songs. It's nothing inventive, but it's definitely a pleasure to hear.

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 From Within by ASTRA album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.92 | 21 ratings

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From Within
Astra Progressive Metal

Review by theaterd

5 stars The second release from Astra has these guys on fire. Love this collection. Heavy, strong at times, progressive and lyrical at times, but always serious rocking metal. Lots of hummable melodies, lots of awesome guitar and keyboard work, drumming is great, and vocals kick ass. There is a definite link to the power metal band DGM, since vocalist Titta Tani, and keyboardist Emanuele Casali were doing double duty for a few cds. I don't think there is a bad cut on the disc. The first 3 cuts are very strong, the next 2 are a little more gentle, and then it just rips until the last cut which is an incredible tribute to Queen, more so Freddie Mercury. A beautiful way to end this very solid sophomore release from a band I hope will be around for a long time. Almost forgot to mention song #8. It strikes me as a strange tribute to Styx, but maybe I'm crazy. Would love to know others opinions on the question. The intro and chorus just scream Styx to me, and that is maybe because I haven't taken my meds today...

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 From Within by ASTRA album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.92 | 21 ratings

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From Within
Astra Progressive Metal

Review by mel from hell

3 stars I have read the info about the band and I thought that I should listen to them. By the first songs you can understand that these guys know how to use their instruments. But then enters the voice which is at least mediocre. Typical italian singer trying to sing english. Even if many bands have a lack of good vocals,these ones are pretty bad to my opinion. Also apart from the vocals, they have a lot of power metal influences which I usually avoid(only Symphony X mix them in their balanced music) and they are not so authentic because they remind me Dream Theater a lot. Of course everyone is ibfluenced by the prog giants but not so obviously. General, this album has good ideas and some songs are nice that is why I consider it pretty good but not at all essential.

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