Astralium – Land Of Eternal Dreams Album Review – MHF
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Astralium – Land Of Eternal Dreams Album Review

Astralium – Land Of Eternal Dreams

Album Review By Rainer Kerber

Italy is known for good symphonic metal bands. Recently, a new name has appeared on my radar. Astralium were founded in 2014 by soprano Roberta Pappalardo and bassist Giuseppe Pappalardo. In 2017, the work for the debut album began. These dragged on for over two years. In August, “Land Of Eternal Dreams” will be released by the Italian label Rockshot Records. The quartet has recorded thirteen songs with a total playing time of more than one hour. The orchestral version of “Hope Is Gone” will probably only be heard as a bonus on the Japanese version of the album. High-caliber guest musicians could be won for the production, so Tommy Johansson (Sabaton) or Jo Lombardo (Ancestral, ex- Metatrone).

The opener “Remembrance” is an intro of the better kind. In the style of an overture, a large orchestra and epic choir will be performed. After that, the journey to the land of eternal dreams can begin. Also “The Journey” is very epic. Here, the orchestration is reduced a little bit. But unfortunately, the guitars sound a little underrepresented. Singer Roberta Pappalardo has a pleasant-sounding soprano voice. She moves relatively rarely into the highest pitches. In contrast, a male voice is heard. At the beginning of “Rising Waves From The Ocean” guitar riffs are heard. The rhythmic drumming is quite dominant. Powerful riffing and occasional double bass attacks can be found on “My Life Is My Eternity”. Also below is heard orchestral metal with beautiful melodies (“Whisper In The Silence”, “Hope Is Gone”). The same ingredients are repeatedly mixed in different mixtures. A well-sounding exception are the two ballads “Breath Of My Soul” and “Ethereal Voices From The Forest”. In the latter, the Italians renounce singing, Roberta contributes only a few vocalises. “The World Of Unknown” starts folkloristic before again the bombastic instrumentation begins here. I think that the orchestral version of “Hope Is Gone” (intended for the Japanese market) would be dispensable.

Take a cast from the Rhapsody / Rhapsody of Fire universe, put a soprano singer to the mircrophone. That’s how you can imagine the sound of Astralium. However, the genius of Alex Staropoli or Luca Turilli is missing here. Certainly, that’s not a bad album. The songs of “Land Of Eternal Dreams” would be very well suited as a soundtrack for a Phantasy movie. But for my taste it is a bit too monotonous, the individual songs sound too similar. I would also like a more discreet use of orchestration. Only the two ballads provide a little variety. There is still room for improvement.

ASTRALIUM – The Journey: https://youtu.be/1fqv_oe5fv4

Lineup:

Roberta Pappalardo (Robie) – Vocals & Backing Vocals
Salvo Grasso – Drums & Male Vocals
Giuseppe Pappalardo – Bass & Backing Vocals
Emanuele Alessandro – Guitars

Label: Rockshots Records

Out: August 23rd, 2019

Playing time: 01:06:25

Track list:

  • Remembrance
  • The Journey
  • Rising Waves From The Ocean
  • My Life Is My Eternity
  • Whisper In The Silence
  • Hope Is Gone
  • Breath Of My Soul
  • A Dream’s Elegy
  • Seven Seas, Seven Winds
  • Ethereal Voices From The Forest
  • The World Of Unknown
  • Hidden Conspiracy
  • Hope Is Gone (Orchestral Version – Bonus Track Japan)

Rating : 7/5/10

MHF Magazine/Rainer Kerber

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