Astral Void – Blood from a Stone

astral-void-band2_RingMaster Review

The first thing which hits ears in the Blood from a Stone EP is the passion and at times fury driving the five boisterous tracks making up its body, that swiftly followed by the energy in the songwriting and music of UK rockers Astral Void. This is a band also unafraid to show echoes of some it’s inspirations in its strongly engaging sound; a proposition which could be described as Foo Fighters meets Sick Puppies meets Nirvana with a touch of Therapy? as a hint but one which invites attention as a fresh and thickly tenacious incitement.

From Norfolk, Astral Void’s seeds go back to 2007 and former Red Leaf front man Andy Martin who from performing solo wanted to put his ideas into a band format. After advertising online, Martin met and subsequently linked up with guitarist Chris Gedge (ex- Smoking Aces), the pair eventually finding further members to a band soon becoming a feature of the Norfolk and London live scene over the next couple of years before going on hiatus. That break ended in 2013, Martin and Gedge uniting again and pulling bassist Nathan Redgrave and drummer Liam Ramsker into the line-up. Soon new songs were forged as the band’s alternative/melodic rock fuelled enterprise began stirring things up again, the release of Blood from a Stone a potent poke on attention with its release a few weeks back.

The EP quickly entices ears and appetite with opener B.F.F, riffs almost stalking ears as rhythms rumble and grumble alongside. The harmonic vocals of Martin and Gedge soon after add an enticing temper to that confrontation, their presence in turn sparking fiery melodic enterprise from the guitar of Gedge; Martin’s craft on strings backing him as resourcefully as the former with his vocals for the latter. Emerging grooves have a Lost Prophets feel to their spiciness whilst the unpredictable twists and fluid changes within the landscape of the song simply captures the imagination to excite ears further.

It is a nature to the band’s songwriting which never misses a moment to impress, the following Bleed moving from an initial melodic caress accompanied by the great emotive tone in Martin’s voice and in turn warm harmonies, into a thicker proposal in sound and emotive weight as the band offer their bolder reflective essences. It never majorly breaks from its infectious croon, instead evolving it and giving it more fire in the belly with a touch of Jimmy Eat World coming to the fore. More of a grower than its predecessor, the song keeps a quickly bred appetite richly satisfied before the EP’s title track inflames it again with a similarly heated and angst lined proposal with a far more grungier heart, especially across its volatile chorus. The guitars border on flirtation throughout with their sonic craft and colour whilst rhythms make a moodier proposition matched by the instinctive snarl of Martin’s vocal delivery; all elements woven into an infectious canter and strain of temptation.

From one success to another as the excellent Dust soon establishes itself as a big favourite. Even from its first breath where a prowling bassline lures in discord equipped guitar teases and a vocal lure with a touch of the stalker to it too, the track has its claws into the passions, subsequently exploding into another grunge toned roar as its chorus demands full involvement. It’s galvanic success in turn seems to spark a feistier and more intensely energetic nature to the following verse and the gripping builds shaping the rest of the song’s contagion soaked blaze. Added joy within the tremendous encounter comes through the quirky slithers of guitar which get a major moment to shine just before the rousing finale, their Devo-esque revelry quite delicious.

There is no escaping the Nirvana like essence to the song either, a spice as enjoyable in closing track Pain for another big highlight of the release. A stirring blend of hard rock, grunge, and punk ‘n’ roll, the track reminds ears of fellow UK band Feud a little but is soon bawling at and stomping with the listener with its own raucousness, constantly inviting and receiving participation as shown by the office here.

It is a mighty end to a thoroughly satisfying and increasingly electrifying introduction to Astral Void. Having recently signed with Holier Than Thou Records, it is easy to expect good times in the future with a band that has all the attributes to impress and the imagination to be bigger and bolder ahead.

The Blood from a Stone EP is out now @

Pete RingMaster 14/12/2015

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Categories: EP, Music

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