Wednesday 19 October 2016

Asteroid - III (Album Review)

Release date: November 11th 2016 (EU) and December 9th 2016 (US). Label: Fuzzorama Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

III – Tracklisting

1.Pale Moon
2.Last Days
3.Til' Dawn
4.Wolf & Snake
5.Silver & Gold
6.Them Calling
7.Mr. Strange

Band Members:

Robin Hirse – Vocals/Guitar
Johannes Nilsson – Bass/Vocals
Jimmi Kohlscheen - Drums/Vocals


Almost at the threshold of 40, and having started to listen to music at the age of 6 thanks to my father’s vinyl collection, I always wondered how all those groups I’ve loved to tears would have played today, with the inspiration of their golden years. Imagine how, one of the most inflated genres to date, the stoner/psych/fuzz rock/metal, would have been played by bands like Pink Floyd, The Who, Jefferson Airplane, Led Zeppelin.
I know that many of them have laid the foundations for the development of many of the genres we love, and would face a time paradox worthy of Back To The Future but, think for a while, how it would be. Seriously, I asked myself this thing really in recent years and, today, I found a first, partial, response in the new album from the Sweden based trio from Örebro, Asteroid (III, Fuzzorama Records). III is with no doubt one of the best releases so far. All in this album is close to perfection.
The rhythm section of Johannes Nilsson (vocals and bass) and Jimmi Kohlscheen (drums) is something I have not heard from time, perfect, powerful and dynamic at the same time. The riffing of Robin Hirse (guitars and vocals) is something in between the golden age of modern stoner rock and the psychedelic sound of the late 60s-70s. And what about singing? Simply amazing. With that voice he could not sing anything in any other group. One of the best productions ever heard so far.
III starts with Pale Moon, which has one of the most beautiful intro of the last years, reminds me closely the Pink Floyd. Here, the groovy bass line and drumming are the perfect background for the sliding distorted guitar that gently introduce a powerful and psychedelic song, with the voice of Robin that stops for a very few moments the lysergic atmosphere of this little gem of about six minutes.
Probably one of my favorite songs. Last Days, the second song of III, starts with the right dose of modulation effects that brings a very unique sound, giving the way to a more rhythmic part for a completely different song than the opener. In Til’Dawn, the clean sound of the guitar during the intro alternates with fuzzy riffs and a vocal part that literally makes you shudder for intensity and depth, especially towards the end where the voice of Robin and the use of back-vocals closely reminds me the Alice in Chains.
Wolf & Snake is such a kind of song every stoner rock band should have in their repertoire. Inside is everything you need, classic 70s riffs, Kyuss, Truckfighters, Fu Manchu, all united in a perfect mix for a beautiful song ending in a pure sludge style, with slow tempos and massive fuzz that contrast with the clean outro of the song. It follows Silver & Gold, the shortest song of III, where in about 3 minutes Asteroid explore an upper floor in the way of composing, giving us a pure psychedelic song with a blend of layered vocals and guitar that gently introduce the fuzz and groove of the penultimate song, Them Calling.
III ends with Mr. Strange, a powerful song that rightly includes my initial thought of this review. Here, the echos of Led Zeppelin and Jefferson Airplane fuse with the sounds of modern stoner, while leaving that vintage note until the last part of the song, where choirs and chanting vocals close, perfectly, the album.
What to say. It seems clear that I liked the album and I highly recommend it to everyone, especially to all tired of the same usual way to decline a genre now hyper-inflated. III is definitively a masterpiece and, as a musician, it is exactly the album I would have like to make.
Words by Bruno Bellisario

Thanks to Oskar at Fuzzorama Records. III will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Fuzzorama Records on 11th November 2016 in Europe and 9th December 2016 in USA.