Astra - The Black Chord
Metal Blade
Retro-Progressive Rock
6 songs (47:06)
Release year: 2012
Astra, Metal Blade
Reviewed by Stefan
Surprise of the month

Is this a bad thing when a band releases an album in 2012 that sounds like it was made in 1972? Is it a bad thing if an axeman's chops are mostly borrowed from Steve Hackett, Steve Howe and Robert Fripp? Is it a bad thing if, for 6 compositions and 48 minutes, you feel like you’ve been transported in another time, into another dimension?

A retro act if Prog ever saw one, San Diego's Astra is not one for invention and the fact is you frequently are reminded of "Sacred Cows" from the 70s Progressive Rock scene. Names? Yes (Banks & Kaye era, mostly), Genesis, The Nice, Mike Oldfield, King Crimson, Pink Floyd... Yeah, that's a lot and you’ll find more while spinning this bad boy and, granted, it probably should have been too much. But since, losing some of the extra fat of their previous album, 2009's The Weirding, the guys have managed to craft a convincing and entertaining long-play, I can’t honestly see that many reasons to complain. Actually, The Black Chord so well crafted you can easily convince yourself you’re listening to some lost album by some unfortunate band which got shelved by an indelicate record company...back in the days.

Of course, it’s highly derivative experience but for those, like me, who don’t mind finding their pleasure in such endeavors, it’s a delight from start to finish. People looking for something fresh and new can still give it a go since good music, after all, doesn’t belong to any particular space, or time.

Killing Songs :
Solid from start to finish.
Stefan quoted 88 / 100
Other albums by Astra that we have reviewed:
Astra - From Within reviewed by Thomas and quoted 82 / 100
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