Astrofaes - Dying Emotion Domain
Negative Existence
Black Metal
8 songs (41:26)
Release year: 2011
Negative Existence
Reviewed by Goat

Something of a forgotten little brother to giants of the Ukrainian scene like Drudkh and Hate Forest, this remastered reissue of Astrofaes' 1998 debut reminded me of their underrated existence. Main member Thurios has been active in both of the above, as well as The Old Silver Key and Blood Of Kingu, making him a central part of that particular sunwheel of kriegness, and yet there's little of the melody and stylistic shifts in those bands in Astrofaes' sound generally, let alone here. Closest to Hate Forest in terms of sound, Astrofaes are less about the primordial roar of nature but a more traditional, keyboard-backed but raw and riff-focused style that is still very violent but allows room for headbanging. And there's much headbanging to be had from Dying Emotions Domain, even if it's rather repetitive in style and fond of repeating the same tricks - it's still a damn enjoyable bit of black metal fury.

Quite how furious it is is masked by intro piece The Black Woods Theory, setting a graceful scene before nine-minute monster Fiery Mysticism storms in, clattering drums and furious walls of guitars doing their best to destroy your ears before turning strangely catchy, riffs switching from left to right and back again atop a screeching morass of darkness. Astrofaes are capable songwriters, throwing just enough hooking riffs at the listener to catch their attention before turning and fleeing back into a chaotic forest of sound. Towards the end of the song the keyboards take greater prominence, weaving an enjoyable neoclassical web that adds a real touch of class. And that class continues throughout the album, little touches like the flute in Path To Burning Space being highly effective. Ad Infinitum (Dark II)'s opening of drum taps and synths soon opens up into majestic male choirs and guitar walls, bass-led breakdown and almost psychedelic climbing and falling riffage with spooky keyboards - a clear sign that Astrofaes are aware of their skills and what they can do with them. The results may be a little repetitive as of then, but those hearing Dying Emotions Domain for the first time are hearing a band capable of doing good things, if perhaps not quite up there with their more famous comrades.

Killing Songs :
Fiery Mysticism, Necromantical Screams, Ad Infinitum (Dark II)
Goat quoted 75 / 100
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