Astral Underground are a 1 man band from France and also another project from the guy behind Parade with the musical style being a very ambient and depressive form of black metal and this is a review of their self released 2011 demo "Rates".
"Bacchantes" starts off with ambient sounds, powerful drums and slow, dark black metal guitar riffing and after a minute the song gets more powerful and the depressive black metal screams and cries kick in and the song is short.
"Sielfcle d' angoisse" starts off with some clean guitar playing and distorted effects which leads to the drums and depressive screams kick in as well as the guitars getting more distorted which in return takes the music into a more primitive and atmospheric direction as well as mixing slow and fast parts together while mostly focusing on the slower elements in the song.
"Violon" starts off with soft acoustic guitar playing which uses both finger picking and full chords along with ambient soundscpaes in the background and as the song moves in avant garde violins make their presence known until the end.
"Ratels" starts off with dark ambient soundscapes and noise along with some screams and cries in the background which leads to the drums, black metal guitar riffs and depressive screams and as the song moves on the music switches back and forth between the soft and heavy parts until it ends.
"Mes cris dans l' escalier" starts off with ambient sounds and screams and as the song moves on the music goes into a more avant garde direction before ending after a couple of minutes.
"L' ure du valet" starts off with powerful drumming, synths and ambient guitar riffing which sets up the mood for the screams to kick in and as the song moves on the music focuses more on the ambient elements as well as mixing in some loud noises but also keep the black metal sections.
"Nos reves archanes" starts off with distorted noises before going into fast primitive black metal riffing and drums which sets up the pace for the vocals and blast beats before slowing down and going into a more depressive direction and also throwing variety into the riffing along with heavy distorted parts.
Song lyrics are written in French and cover metaphysical and depressive themes, while the production has a very dark, raw and primitive sound with the bass guitar being mixed down low in the mix.
In my opinion Astral Underground are a very great sounding ambient, depressive black metal project and if you are a fan of this musical genre, you can check out their music here http://www.mediafire.com/download/yjngvjtn571oebb/Astral_Underground_-_Rate%CC%81s.zip .
RECOMMENDED TRACKS INCLUDE "Bacchantes" and "Ratels". RECOMMENDED.