ASTRALIUM – Land Of Eternal Dreams (2019)
“Land Of Eternal Dreams” is the title of ASTRALIUM debut album, a female fronted metal band based out of Italy, and according to the press release delivering a strong mix of Symphonic Metal with Power, Heavy and Progressive Metal influences. I was expecting more of the same in this genre, however resulted greatly surprised by the quality of this band and their melodic, catchy sound, different from bands of this ilk.
Formed in 2014 by front woman Roberta Pappalardo and bass player Giuseppe Pappalardo, it took some years for Astralium to mark their official entrance onto the scene. Completing the band’s regular lineup are guitarist Emanuele Alessandro and Metatrone drummer Salvo Grasso, but there are also a handful of guest musicians from the Italian circuit, such as the ever-busy Tommy Johansson (Sabaton, Majestica), Andrea Martongelli (Arthemis), Jo Lombardo, Stefano “Ghigas” Calvagno, and Davide Bruno (who are/were all fellow Metatrone members alongside Grasso).
Astralium aren’t your typical, generic symphonic metal band. They manage to produce a bright, unique sound and, while some of their influences are vividly apparent at times, they do a great job at maintaining originality.
The orchestrations are broad and epic, but they don’t overbear the guitars or vocals, which is a common mistake in the genre. The band feels hard rocking at places, as this genre was formative for this musicians.
Other strong aspect in “Land Of Eternal Dreams” is the songwriting. Each song is dynamic, expressive, and offers something new. Additionally, a variety of moods and time signatures are explored.
We have ‘Whisper in the Silence’, which brings heavy intensity, a soft ballad in ‘Breath of My Soul’, the blast-beat aggression of ‘Seven Seas, Seven Winds’, and there’s even the cool vocal feature ‘Ethereal Voices from the Forest’, which sounds like, well, a bunch of ethereal voices from the forest.
Although, while all of these tracks have a noticeable theme, they all feature a variety of different moods.
This is an album highly enjoyable as a whole, I mean, listening to it as an ‘album’, entirely from start to finish.
To mention a few favorites ‘Whisper of the Silence’ has some awesome riffing and the drumming, which is pretty killer, doesn’t sit still for more than twenty seconds. The pulled back first verse is another great touch.
I also really found original the end section of ‘Seven Seas, Seven Winds’, which is like the soundtrack to an epic, bloody battle on the high seas.
Finally, the closer, ‘Hidden Conspiracy’ sums up the entire album nicely. It’s an all-around sick track, covering every emotion that the rest of the album features with a surprising amount of detail for a song that isn’t even seven minutes long.
For a debut album, “Land Of Eternal Dreams” is incredibly mature. It’s diverse, the playing is exquisite, and the arrangements are colorful.
In a sea of quite generic symphonic / progressive metal acts, Astralium raises above the regular with a fresh sound, more groovy, rocking, soulful. Don’t miss this debut, you’ll be surprised by this band’s quality.
01 – Remembrance
02 – The Journey
03 – Rising Waves from the Ocean
04 – My Life Is My Eternity
05 – Whisper in the Silence
06 – Hope Is Gone
07 – Breath of My Soul
08 – A Dream’s Elegy
09 – Seven Seas, Seven Winds
10 – Etherial Voices from the Forest
11 – The World of Unknown
12 – Hidden Conspiracy
Roberta Pappalardo – vocals
Giuseppe Pappalardo – bass, keys
Emanuele Alessandro – guitars
Salvo Grasso – drums
Tommy Johansson (Sabaton, Majestica)
Jo Lombardo (Ancestral, ex-Metatrone)
Andrea Martongelli (Arthemis)
Stefano “Ghigas” Calvagno (Metatrone, NefeshCore)
Adam Cook (A Hill To Die Upon)
Davide Bruno (Metatrone, NefeshCore)