Barcelona is to me a synonym of beauty. I had the indescribable pleasure of visiting this magnificent city, sadly just once and, thus, ever since I’ve been planning another trip. In the meantime, however, it turns out one can enjoy a sliver of this experience (or make a trip down the memory lane) at home.
Astralia are Roger Guzman on guitar, Jordi Guzman on drums and Albert Clemente on bass, a three-piece post-rock/ambient-rock band from (not so surprisingly) Barcelona, Spain. To quote them: “The band was born in November 2010, and after drinking from different musical styles, they decided to create songs with new sounds, new atmospheres, new textures, often governed by the simplicity of a few notes. Songs that demand their time, their pauses, explaining feelings and emotions, motivated largely by a power source, the nature.”
RELEASE DATE: 13 May 2014 LABEL: Independent
Their debut self-titled EP was released in March 2012 and it was a very good month for music. Astralia proved that they are really good at creating serene atmosphere in their songs followed by phenomenal guitar riffs – heavy, yet not overpowering. Having heard this record I expected more of this power from Astralia’s upcoming album – Atlas.
And I was a little surprised as Atlas seems more peaceful and cheerful. It appears over the two years Astralia became more tempered. Don’t get me wrong – they still might catch you off-guard with a strong guitar accent but the entire album is far more tranquil and contemplative, thus appearing more mature. It asks for reflections and quiet meditation and is perfect in creating atmosphere for exactly that – as the musicians said themselves: The songs demand their time.
The trio from Barcelona is a really good one. Both the electric guitar and bass are doing a good job of controlling the pace and tempo of the songs. Roger skillfully mixes the heavier and lighter parts, as we can see for instance at the end of “Mekto”, which results in great melodies supported by occasional heavier riffs. Albert is bringing joy to my ears with the humming of his bass, most noticeably in “You Are Here”, showing great potential but I would actually love to hear more of him. The ambient sounds were much enjoyed as well, especially as they helped build the atmosphere and mood, which are the strongest side of Astralia’s Atlas. It’s hard to put these two into words, therefore I will only recommend focusing on this beautiful album while listening to it, as it shall be rewarding.
There’s not much left to say, as their music speaks for itself, so I will be glad to simply recommend you give them a chance or perhaps watch the fantastic official video for “You Are Here”.