It’s rare in today’s modern music realm that you find a powerhouse duo quite like Vancouver’s Asterous. Comprised of two highly versatile and multifaceted musicians, this duo has recently put together a debut self-titled EP that is far beyond the industry standard. Their signature sound is heavy, in-your-face, melodic and sensual all at once in a way that is surreal and insatiably crafty; delivering a visceral experience that will have you in awe upon first listen.
With hypnotic female fronted vocals at the helm of the lead melody structures, this duo, with the male component diligently crafting every guitar riff, progression and mind-blowing shreddy leads, Asterous delivers a very innovative, dark, ominous and tranquil record that combines many crucial elements that will easily captivate old school fans of melodic metal but with today’s modern music sensibility. The songs are surreal and dreamlike. Opening track “The Fall” is a perfect example of what their signature style brings to the table. With dreamy female vocal leads and very effective 3rd and 5th harmonies paralleling the melody vocal structure, you get an immediate idea of how the tone is set throughout the record. The tour-de-force guitar leads and layers, which could even draw comparisons to some of the greats like Steve Vai and Joe Satriani, are quite anthemic and beyond well executed when it comes to the chord structuring, dynamic progressions and distinctive guitar harmony leads. I admit, I wasn’t even expecting to hear something like this and even had to backtrack on this song to truly intake some of the brilliance that I was hearing throughout the track’s duration.
Another notable track is “Murder The Machine”, a bit more upbeat but still delivers all the tasty riffs and melodies we got to hear in the opening track. The deep male backup vocals bring forth an extra layer of that dark and ominous edge, and is done tastefully enough in a way where it doesn’t distract you from any part of the song. This track also has more solid shred-worthy guitar work with even some solo measures that are perfectly integrated into the song. Another notable part of this track is the anthemic piano interlude towards the end of the song, closing it out with a sense of ambience, atmosphere, and aura as if it’s finishing a chapter. Kinda of like a calm after the storm, bringing it all to a conclusion that is mysterious, beautiful and fulfilled.
EP closer “Afterthought” is a song with a beautiful piano rendition and chorus-integrated vocals that really showcase the authenticity between the Asterous duo as both musicians and creators. It’s a short but surreal song with background strings that really closes the book to the many powerful chapters we experienced throughout the EP’s duration and really leaves the listener in awe with just how versatile, climactic and wholesome this EP. This song is the soothing back rub after waking up from the dream sequences from the prior songs. The whole EP is a surreal experience and this closing track really brings you to a tranquility unlike anything you’ve ever experienced.
Asterous is definitely not a band to sleep on by any means. The EP has a plethora of innovation, natural talent, musicianship, artistic merit, and moods that will lift you up lighter than air due to its tranquility and nostalgic presence. Who knows what they will come up with next, but if it’s destined to be better than this EP, then my undivided attention is very ready for it. You can get your copy of the EP on Apple Music, Spotify, iTunes and several other digital music streaming platforms. I promise you’ll thank us later.
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