Astrophobos – Remnants of Forgotten Horrors (Triumvirate)

Sunday, 26th January 2014
Rating: 8/10

Of late, melodic wanderings in black metal have been left up to the thick black glasses club, dudes of the nondescript sort. The substantive quality of having a melodic stream running through the extreme thrust of BM has thus been diminished for those reasons alone. It’s a “post”-thing, naturally. Because of that, one starts to pine for something more boiled-over and properly metal, which is where Stockholm’s Astrophobos come in. Their style is decidedly derived from the blast-away arm of their fellow countrymen Dark Funeral and Marduk, yet rolls out some pretty favorable moments in the memorable melody department, making their Remnants of Forgotten Horrors debut a go-getter.

Presenting those speedy, tremolo-happy guitar runs at will, this power trio (who formed in 2009, and previously, have only a 2010 EP to their name), doesn’t fetch a wide range of the black metal gamut. Instead, they keep their ideas pretty centralized, prompting an obvious thread between the album’s eight constructions. But as one goes with the hyper-melody flow, some whirling, and tempered forays come into the picture, specifically on the dynamic “Winds of Insanity,” and album highlight “Invocating the Void,” where the band’s focus on those cold, Scandinavian standards come into play and prove to be quite convincing, actually.

Given the hefty blasts of wintry elements and buzzing melodies found on Remnants of Forgotten Horrors, chalk up this debut as a winner. And while the approach of Astrophobos is far from novel and/or inventive, they’ve managed to become a proper work-around for those already tired of hipster black metal. This, is the real thing.

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