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).