Friday, April 18, 2014

ASTRA / Broken Balance (2014)

Astra is a progressive hard 'n' heavy act and "Broken Balance" it's already their third full-length release. The band's debut album was released in 2006 and was entitled "About Me: Through Life And Beyond" and three years later, in 2009, the second step "From Within" was a fact. I have to say that after a couple of spins of "Broken Balance" I'm really impressed here; this is a very good record all the way!

The sound here is movin', in perfect balance, somewhere between progressive hard rock, with plenty of melodies-strong arrangements, modern prog-metal with a strong dose of classic prog-rock acts (Styx e.t.c.).

The album kicks-off with the breathtaking tune of "Loosing My Ego". A fast-paced and in-your-face rocker that includes superb vocal performances, a huge hook and chorus to sing-a-long for days, a big and 'fat' guitar work with a killer solo and a feel-good vibe! Really impressive! "Hole In The Silence" features a nice groove, strong arrangements and some more aggressive vocal lines while "Sunrise To Sunset" is yet another highlight from this new record. For me, this track is the perfect mix of all the things that we love in rock generally; it mixes perfectly the power with the melody, the 80's hard rock scene with the modern melodic metal and when it comes to the this one sent me to heaven, it grabbed me from the start and left whistling it for hours. There are, also, some heavier moments here like "Faithless", "Broken Balance" and "Risk And Dare" that all feature strong arrangements, passionate performances and very good guitar work and all three will make every fan of pure progressive metal sound very proud. Check, also, the brilliant Queensryche-esque tune of "Mirror Of Your Soul" and you'll be surprised of how talented this band is!

I think that for all of you that read my review above you'd have figured out by now that I enjoyed this album a lot. Yes, there is no doubt about that. I think that this band needs no labels (progressive, melodic metal, heavy rock e.t.c.), this is good music with very good songs and most of all ASTRA put heart and soul here and in the final they achieve to create a very good album. I expect bigger things from them in the near future. 
Heavy Paradise's Rating : 8,5/10

Track Listing :
1. Losing My Ego
2. Hole In The Silence 
3. Sunrise To Sunset
4. Too Late
5. Broken Balance
6. Faithless  
7. Mirror Of Your Soul
8. Risk And Dare
9. Break Me Down
10. Understand
11. Ending Season
12. You Make Me Better

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