Tag Archives: Astral Winter

Hammerstorm – The Lonely Wanderer

Hammerstorm - The Lonely Wanderer
The Lonely Wanderer is the debut release from international Atmospheric / Black Metal duo Hammerstorm. Featuring Immortal Frost Productions’ very own Surtur on vocals and Slikver (Astral Winter’s Josh Young) handling all instruments this long running relationship has had a hand in some of the genres best work and this is a strong first release that deserves to be heard and indeed successful. Opening with ‘Mystics Of His Soul’ where Surtur screams over some medieval keyboard. It essentially acts as an intro to second track ‘The Lonely Wanderer’, which carries the same melody on keyboards but it soon takes a back seat to some traditional Black Metal guitars and frenzied drumming. ‘Along The Shades Of Darkness’ is a battle hymn that opens with combative percussion, speared with classic Black metal shredding from Slikver. Unfortunately, the momentum gained from previous songs is lost somewhat by long intros to most of the tracks. ‘Whispers From The Depths Of The Forest’ is a personal favourite due to the varied musicianship on it. The quickly executed guitar riffs are comparable to classic Iron Maiden. The only downside is that the lyrics seem slightly lost in the mix. Elsewhere ‘When Darkness Falls Upon Me’ leads the second half of the album. The opening drum track sounds misplaced though and lets the track down. However, after a minute and a half this is no longer the case and business is resumed. Well worth checking this one out.

Hammerstorm is:
Slikver (All instruments), Surtur (Vocals).

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Obscure Abhorrence


Astral Winter – Perdition

Astral Winter - Perdition

Astral Winter is the solo project of Atra Vetosus front-man Josh Young.  Perdition is his follow up to well-received 2011 debut Winter Enthroned and is more experimental than its predecessor.  Opening track ‘The Rain Falls Upon This Distant Land’ is a beautiful acoustic guitar instrumental track that precedes ‘An Endless And Vast Horizon’ which again has the overdubbing of sounds of nature and wind set against ethereal keyboards.  Listeners who are familiar with Young’s previous album Winter Enthroned may be surprised to learn that there are no heavy tracks on Perdition. I for one was taken aback at first and kept expecting the eruption of classic black metal blast beats, however it never came.  Don’t be put off by this though as there is some very good music on offer.  This album is perfect music to kick back and relax to after a long day.  A refreshing and welcome piece of work that deserves to be heard.  Stand out track has to be ‘Disappearing into Nights Embrace’, which is a sombre acoustic lament from Young.  ‘Pillars of Creation Descend into Ashen Ruin’ brings the record full-circle to an eerie conclusion, with the sound of barren wastelands in the grip of a storm.

Astral Winter is:
Josh Young (All instruments).

Perdition is available now via Immortal Frost Productions.


Astral Winter – Winter Enthroned

Astral Winter - Winter Enthroned

Astral Winter has been producing lion-hearted melodic black metal since 2008 and is now functioning as a solo act, after the departure of vocalist Phil Hemsworth in 2011.  Young comfortably uses epic keyboards and vocal harmonies knitted into Maiden-esque duel guitar patterns to create some of his best work to date.  The impressive “Longing For Winter’s End” expertly highlights the records rich and contagious melodies, here is where Young sounds like he is firing on all cylinders.  Also the inclusion of audio samples of storms and howling winds on “Illustrations Of Death”  brilliantly compliments the mood and captures the essence of what he is trying to achieve here.  The production is slick overall and the drums are very well mapped out.  The one minor blot on his pages comes with the dated and flat keyboard intro to “Defenders Of The Astral Kingdom (Part 1)”, which sadly does verge ever so slightly on the cheesy side.  However, the introduction of distorted guitars soon blows away any concern for the rest of the track.  Thankfully, the thundering double bass that is provided by the drum machine supports the much improved keyboards in the latter half of this number.  Astral Winter is currently working on his second album which has a working title of “Forest Of Silence”.  However, as of November 2012, no release date has been set.

Astral Winter is:

Josh Young – (Vocals, Instruments and Composition).

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Immortal Frost Productions.