Rating:
7.2
Astral Tears - Hypnotic
2012


01. Rebirth
02. Hate The Enemy
03. Sinner
04. Desire
05. Behind The Curtains
06. Back To Life
07. Obsession
08. Tell Me Lies
09. Awake
10. Forgotten
11. My Reality
12. End Of My Story


Rating supplement: Not the best I've heard in the style, but it makes up for it by not being a carbon-copy, so I'd recommend this to fans of female-fronted metal.

Astral Tears are from France and they play, according to their bio, "melodic metal with oriental influences". Given the stereotypical band and album name, I thought I wasn't in for anything remotely good, but Hypnotic is a solid debut. It's not strikingly original, but it has identity; it's not amateurish either. There is room for improvement, but the band won't be ashamed of their first release, no matter where their music takes them in the future.

Now, I'm sure a lot of your fancies are tickled with the promise of "oriental influences". A disappointment for some and reassurance for others, they are mostly restricted to the vocal lines. Mostly. There are some oriental and vaguely "exotic" sounds surfacing on the instrumental "plane" as well, especially on percussion. I'm the first person to admit that (Middle-)Eastern-influenced singing puts me off in metal, but Beyza (the band's vocalist) has got a pleasant voice and is as skillful as one can get, so the vocals didn't put me up for such a bumpy ride as I initially thought they would - by the time my first listen ended, I was enjoying them. However, the music is for the most part vocal-centric, so if you have a particular dislike for such a vocal style, it would be best if you sampled this before you went for the whole deal.

Riffs are generally nu metal-inspired, although there are some that stay out of that pattern. The band also tries to channel some of their more progressive influences, but such moments are rare and far apart - I probably wouldn't have paid a lot of attention to them had I not read they were inspired by bands such as Dream Theater and Periphery beforehand. Astral Tears could easily be compared to the likes of newer Lacuna Coil, but the Frenchies are already a more accomplished band, especially if we take their folk elements (which add some very necessary diversity) into consideration. Why? They're heavier. A real metal band.

But still, not nearly as heavy as they should and could be. Amp up the game! Unleash those solos! Bring forth some more playful riffs - I can't tell you how many times have I played "Tell Me Lies" to have some more of that verse riff. I'm aware that this is - pardon me for my awful generalization - the type of metal that generally doesn't rely on heaviness to draw listeners to it. But it would suit this particular band's sound. Moreover, we need more heavy bands in female fronted metal, if for nothing else, then for the purpose of a certain percentage of our younger generation being introduced to metal by actual metal bands. And for giving the middle finger to anyone that mocks you for listening to "metal for girls".

Then again, not that you need a reason to do that anyway.


 



Written on 12.04.2012 by
Milena
A part of the team since December 2011, writes about the progressive, the sad and the melodic. She's nice until she's not.
More reviews by Milena ››



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Troy Killjoy - 12.04.2012 at 22:20  
Female-fronted alternative melodic metal with progressive touches. No thanks.
Milena - 12.04.2012 at 22:35  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 12.04.2012 at 22:20

Female-fronted alternative melodic metal with progressive touches. No thanks.

Oh yeah, totally not for you
Boxcar Willy - 13.04.2012 at 03:32  



Tank pretty much covers my opinion in his first word.
SilentScream - 16.04.2012 at 17:15  
One of the worst album art I have seen all year.
Milena - 16.04.2012 at 18:14  
Written by SilentScream on 16.04.2012 at 17:15

One of the worst album art I have seen all year.

Looks like Epica's new to me...
Ivor - 29.05.2012 at 21:52  
Randomly thought I might like this one. Found out that it's one terribly awful album. Normally I don't get this kind of dissatisfaction from something I listen to. I mean, if it's bad you just kind of move on and hope the next thing on the list turns this misfortune around. With this, I kind of actually regretted to have listened to it.

I.

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