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Music Review

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Artist: Astrosaur
Label: Pelagic Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 27 Sept 2019

Pelagic Records releases Obscuroscope, by Astrosaur – a three-piece Instrumental Progressive Rock band from Oslo. It is the brainchild of Song-writer and guitarist Eirik Krakenes. This is his second Astrosaur album, following Fade In // Space Out. It’s described as a record about Curiosity; each song relating to exploration and unveiling that which is obscured or unknown. An investigation of our own musical universe. The track listing is: 'Poyekhali', 'Karakoram II', 'White Stone', 'Elephant Island', 'Supervoid', and 'Homewards'.

This is indeed a Progressive Rock band, but rather than the promoted Jazz, Mathrock, and Black Metal, I would describe the approach as Post Rock and Space Rock. Where is the Black Metal? The music begins with some pointless Prog guitar twiddling, before metamorphosing into much more of a technical piece. The slower and heavier sections are much more palatable. The question Astrosaur seems to be asking is “Can you guess where we are going with this track?” The only answer you get is that it leaves you waiting to find out… and that’s the main problem.

The instrumental music which follows is not so much explorative as tentative. It makes me think of a lost driver repeatedly circumnavigating a roundabout, unsure as to which exit to use. There are timing and even genre changes within one song. Nothing actually goes anywhere, and the biggest mistake this release makes is to keep the listening audience at arm’s length. If they can’t let potential followers into their plan, how can they expect those wannabe fans to invest their time and money in the band.

I really wanted to like this album, because I often fully appreciate something a little different. I thought I was going to get some atmospheric psychedelic Space Rock; but the let down isn’t the genre realisation, it’s the dawning conclusion that the intention is to be clever when it only comes across as being pretentious.


Ty Power

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