Astral Luminous

Lunaric Tide

Hypnotic Dirge Records 2009

Ambient black metal from the infernal heat of Texas, yet somehow Astral Luminous is musically quite the opposite from their environment.  Their debut album is cold, murky, and somber.  The title track breathes foggy soundscapes that bring to mind mist shrouded coves with lurking gulls and humid, chilly atmosphere.  The second track drifts more towards a sunnier melody painted against gray seas of fuzzed out guitars.  The riffing is very mesmerizing in its repetitiveness and frayed edges.  The clean guitars that close out the track are delicate and barren and elicit an emotional outpouring from the listener.  Binaural Vibrancy uses soft strokes of dissonant yet hypnotic riffing to paint vast and obscure landscapes somewhat along the lines of Xasthur or Burzum The chugging guitar riffs in the song's middle passages directly go against this impression however.  The songs rolls to conclusion with ritualistically mechanical ambient instrumentation.  Cosmic dream forays deep into interstellar voids not unlike a more structured and paranoia-inducing version of Neptune Towers.  The guitars have deep depths to their sound due to the fuzzed out production.  Despite the promo pack stating this album being inspired by the Cosmos and astral projection, I really feel the music is organic and grounded within natural wonders.  Aside from the drum machine of course.  Astral Luminous' debut album is a thought provoking and emotionally stark black metal voyage, similar in feeling but different in execution to Velvet Cacoon.  Lunaric Tide rolls in chilled atmospheres like a fog bank that slowly drifts in and obscures all distances and blurs out clarity, leaving only impressions and shadowy visions.