Astrarot – We Can’t Win

Rating: 3/5
Distributor/label:
Straight from the Heart Records
Distributor/label URL: https://www.facebook.com/sfthrecords/
Released: 2017
Buy Album [URL]: http://amzn.to/2vKr2iE
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/Astrarot/

Band line-up:

Nick – Guitars, vocals
Lee – Guitars, vocals
Mits – Bass
Kwstas – Drums

Tracklistings:

1. Graves
2. Buried Fate
3. Burden
4. Enemy
5. Thin Ice
6. This Is the End
7. We Can’t Win
8. Restless
9. Cunt
10. Afterhours
11. This Voice
12. Curtains Fall

Review:

Astrarot released ’Straight From Nowhere’ in 2015, after 8 years of hard work. It was released by heavy metal specialists, Straight From The Heart Records. Having supported acts such as Biohazard, Nasty and Expire, Astrarot came to the conclusion, that they needed a more contemporary sound. In 2016, they released 3 singles, ‘Feeding The Flame’, ‘By Your Rules’ and ‘Point The Finger at Yourself’. These confirmed that the band had moved on with their style. ’We Can’t Win’, was released through SFTHR on June 30th, 2017.

Wanting to sound more modern is perfectly valid, but these guys seem to have taken this idea way too far. Whilst their music is fairly decent, it is almost completely deprived of individuality. The vocals are mostly half or full-shouted, in that hardcore style. The one that everyone with minimal, modern metal knowledge knows. The drums have that same old computerised feel, the guitars seem to be set to maximum distortion (ring any bells?), and single note heavy breakdowns are all over the place. On the plus side, however, one or two extra tones do get added to them, on many occasions. But that’s hardly something to celebrate.

Making things worse, there isn’t much variety on the album. Even when their music picks up speed and un-breaks, most low-end guitar riffs are still simplified chugging patterns. Whilst they are highly moshable, they are also predictable. Higher up guitar parts are no more creative, when they occur. Expect melodic ideas that work well with the other musicians, but don’t push the boundaries in any way. Typical Western scales never end and the recurring, standard 4/4 meters could be twisted further. To be fair though, there is a fair bit of syncopation to be heard.

‘Enemy’ and it’s anthemic chorus is a breath of fresh air, amongst the cliches. It is both catchy and memorable. The keyboards behind the singer are particularly effective, here. They are full of life, adding to the mood of exhilaration. In other numbers, some instrument choices and there utilisation are harder to justify. The sentimental strings and piano in ‘This Is the End’, contrast way to much with the heaviness that follows and precedes it. On the same album, Astrarot have released a song called ‘Cunt’. Does putting sugary music on ‘Straight From Nowhere’ sound like a good idea, to you, now you know this?

In conclusion and despite my criticisms, the album isn’t badly composed. You will be hard pressed spotting even the smallest thing unique with it, though. Would it have been so difficult, just to have borrowed ideas from another genre? That would at least be something. So, is this record worth buying? That depends. Are you new to this kind of music, or are you a huge fan of it? If so, go for it. If not, however, I wouldn’t get your hopes up.

Review by Simon the Mighty
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