Prog rock and metal have had a long history, and most of the time that doesn’t include an American band. If you crave long-play, tripped-out tracks that harken back to the ‘60s and ‘70s while moving forward into the current decade, then Astra’s The Black Chord is for you. It’s a perfect album suited for a variety of scenarios.
Check out the press release below, and then go get your fix at Spinner.com (where you can stream it).
And if you’re feel so inclined to buy The Black Chord, get it at Amazon.com.
Agoura Hills, CA – March 26, 2012: San Diego’s Astra are streaming their new album, The Black Chord, in its entirety via a full CD listening party on AOL’s Spinner.com! The album will be available for fans to stream from now until April 2.
The Black Chord has received fantastic reviews, including a near perfect review on about.com: “The Black Chord is full of hazy, stargazing atmospherics, but the interweaving of its audio wonderments easily reconciles the band’s immense musical aspirations with a resonating, earth-bound heart…music as rewarding as this is utterly timeless.”
“Combining the dark grooves of Sabbath, with the improvisational tangents of King Crimson, the moods of the early eras of both Yes and Genesis, as well as hints of space from Hawkwind.” YtseJam.com
“Recreate all the things you loved about ‘70s prog.” ThisIsNotAScene.com
Born in San Diego, but bred in the mists of Avalon, Astra have fast become a synonym for the ethereal, the sublime, and the genuinely progressive. 2009’s The Weirding put these analog-inflected San Diego visionaries on the map, alongside the likes of co-conspirators Earthless, Diagonal, and Dungen.
Think wailing guitars and dulcet harmonies thickened by Mellotrons and given hypnotic qualities by the kind of drumming that borders on the shamanic. Cinematic in scope but frequently yielding to a kind of melodic fragility that can only be the product of genuine emotion, The Black Chord‘s musical ebb and flow prove Astra to be a band’s band, capable of an artistry all-too-rare among their generation, and it’s a sound to behold.
-Alex Milas, 2012.