Rating:
6.9
Zgard - Astral Glow
18 February 2013


01. Balance In Universe
02. When Breakin Down All The Ideals
03. Letargy Dream
04. Stars In The Sky
05. Old Woods
06. Astral Glow
07. Return To The Void
08. When Time Comes To Go Away


So one man Ukraine black metal act Zgard is back with their third album… all of which were released within a 13 month period. Yeah, you read that correctly.

Astral Glow continues where its predecessor left off… some cross of Drudkh meets a little Dimmu Borgir. Drudkh's stylistic approach - complete with occasional flute - occasionally frosted with the Dimmu-esque frosty keyboard glaze.

Even the cover is more of the same, with some CGI looking "Syfy" meets lore imagery. AZgard in space!

On the initial listen-through I found this as inoffensive as I found Reclusion when I reviewed it last year. It wasn't bad, but at no point did it really grab me. Just mid-paced melodic black metal. I was ready to cast aside and move on after a couple listens.

However, after a few more passes I did find little bits and pieces here and there, scattered throughout the release that were intriguing. Not enough to sway my opinion terribly, but enough so that I prefer Astral Glow to Reclusion.

And who knows, if dude keeps churning out records, perhaps the small improvements will add up, the tinkering here and tightening up there will result in a Bolt Thrower-like career track, with the band aging like a fine wine.

If you've and interest in melodic black metal that sounds like Dimmu-Frosted Drudkh Flakes, start with the Astral Glow.

Performance: 7
Songwriting: 6
Originality: 6
Production: 8


 



Written on 09.06.2013 by
BitterCOld
BitterCOld has been officially reviewing albums for MetalStorm since 2009.
More reviews by BitterCOld ››



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Merchant of Doom - 10.06.2013 at 11:52  
It's 7.5 for me. Yes, pretty inoffensive, but I think the interesting bits make up for the dull parts. A pleasing, background listening.
BitterCOld - 10.06.2013 at 18:17  
Written by Merchant of Doom on 10.06.2013 at 11:52

It's 7.5 for me. Yes, pretty inoffensive, but I think the interesting bits make up for the dull parts. A pleasing, background listening.


I would have rated it higher had there been more of them, or more pronounced. Definitely was some improvement over Reclusion, though.
Merchant of Doom - 11.06.2013 at 11:12  
Written by BitterCOld on 10.06.2013 at 18:17


I would have rated it higher had there been more of them, or more pronounced. Definitely was some improvement over Reclusion, though.


I agree... it left me with a feeling of disappointment overall, because I was expecting more after Reclusion. Still a good effort. Our man can only improve (hopefully)!

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