Astralborne
Across The Aeons

Ohio’s Astralborne is back with the follow-up to 2021’s excellent debut, Eternity’s End. The debut was a very enjoyable slab of meaty American melodic death metal with nods to Amon Amarth, Dark Tranquillity, In Flames ( there is a cover of “December Flower” from The Jester Race on this album), and the usual suspects, but with a cool, cosmic theme and a little more heft than most melodic death metal.

And that continues with the, again epic, space-themed follow-up. As you can tell from the cover, we are talking about space opera levels of galactic battles traversing the stars between vast cosmic entities and such with titles like “War Vessel”, “Sky Breaker”, “Promethean Fire”, “Gemini” and “Star of Extinction”.

The quality from the debut from the songwriting and the production is consistent from the debut. But It seems the album takes a while to really take hold. No knock against the likes of early enjoyable tracks like “War Vessel” or “Nocturneous” or 90s Gothenburg-styled “Gemini”, but it’s after the In Flames cover with the epic instrumental track “Promethean Fire”, where things really take off.

After that, we get “Star of Extinction”, a blisteringly melodic, stomping number, then the fiercely catchy and personal favorite “Paradigm Shift” with an absolutely gorgeous melodic lead riff, that highlights how good Astralborne has the potential to be. The sweeping “The Pillars of Creation

As with the debut, the album closes with an epic title track ( the outro “Cadence of Sorrow” notwithstanding), this time 9 minutes instead of 12.  And like the prior title track, its the album’s standout, delivering a truly epic crescendo and climax to the album (with a brilliant cello bridge into the song’s superb second half), that as I said, builds and builds as it gets better and better.

But also with the debut, the album runs about 10 minutes too long and almost 56 minutes, which is a shame as all the really great stuff is in the album’s back half. But still, a damn fine album from an upcoming US band that should only get better.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
August 15th, 2023

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