ASTRAL SLEEP presents:
We Are Already Living In The End Of Times
With the previous album Astral Doom Musick (Saarni Records 2020), Astral Sleep established their accurate genre definition as the namesake of the said album. With the new, 4th full-length, the band continues to evolve within these musical terms, but this time with a direction towards more Doom and Gloom, less Astral and Magical. The new album’s gargantuan soundscape resonates the immensity of the apocalypse portrayed. Beneath the waves of crushing guitars, drums pound and bass churns, like volcanoes that erupt under oceans, and above glide the ethereal lead guitars and synths, as the powerful vocals shatter the skies and tremble the earth.
We Are Already Living In The End Of Times witnesses the apocalypse as it manifests, and explores the thoughts, feelings, and insights that unfold in the face of the Doom. Why did this happen? What can we do about it? How should we feel about it? Should we care? Does it even matter? The album takes it path through powerful scenes of destruction, loss, and despair, but also of deliverance, self-realization, and existential enlightenment.
The cover art for the album was made by the renowned artist Mark Cooper, an insanely talented designer of tons of album-covers. This epic piece depicts an apocalyptic event where the last concert ever to happen on earth is about to take place running on the last fumes of the broken-down factory.
The album contains six songs:
We Are Already Living In The End Of Times
Torment In Existence
Status Of The Soul
(Total album runtime 46:27)
We Are Already Living in The End of Times:
The opening title track of the eponymous 4th full-length studio album by Astral Sleep explores the idea that the end, destruction, and death of the society and the world as we know it, are happening right now. We are all part of it. The idea is mirrored by the concepts of heaven and hell, as very popular human-made concepts that feed on the idolization of the past, the abandonment of the present, and active degradation and neglect of things to come, the future.
Musically the song starts by testing the listeners’ endurance and patience in the vein of some classic sludge albums that really embrace the noise and the feedback. It is also a sonic equivalent of living in the modern times. The song eventually starts with riffs that could demolish buildings, in contrast to the haunting and vulnerable walls of vocal chants that preach the end. Eventually the song gets heavier, bigger, messier and noisier, until finally resolving into a complete noise chaos before fading into the emptiness.
Torment in Existence:
”The sound of pounding metal”
This track introduces crushing and rocking mid-tempo heaviness, mixed with sorrowful melodies and subtle hints of experimentation and progressiveness. Referred to as so heavy it is almost physically painful! In the end, an acoustic outro offers some resolution.
Years ago, Markus played guitar in the death metal band Church of the Dead. Markus: "Torment in Existence" started out as an attempt to write a song for COTD, but I ended up having material that was rocking but not brutal, and melodically desolate but not shrieking, so it was not going to fit. Nevertheless, I liked the song and saved it, and during the research of potential materials for our 4th album, we found it, and decided it was a good fit to the album.
The lyrics on this one were probably the most straightforward to write. Once I had a complete demo with all the parts completely arranged, I took the mic, pressed ”record” and started spitting random lyrics that would fit the song. Not much was done to the text after. Most of the lyrics is an one-take improvisation.
”Torment in Existence” is also our shortest song to date, clocking only about 6 minutes!"
Astral Sleep hails from Finland, Tellus. The group has wreaked havoc on the metal genre since 2005. Astral Sleep's music fuses various musical styles into an unique entity dubbed "Astral Doom Musick": The boundaries of different sub-genres of Doom are ripped apart, mingled with pieces of jazz, psych-rock, noise, and various styles of metal, and sown back together into the monstrosities that they are. Astral Sleep's mission is finding eternal bliss in the world on its inevitable trajectory towards Doom.
For Fans Of: YOB, Crowbar, Pallbearer, Solitude Aeturnus, David Lynch, Nobuo Uematsu
We Are Already Living In The End Of Times:
"Led by vocals and intertwining layers of guitar-bred misery, Astral Sleep's fourth album broods and mourns our present circumstances. The band's brand of psychedelic doom completely sidesteps most others in this genre, opting for a dreamlike atmosphere that's both crushing and imaginative."
--Ted Nubel, Invisible Oranges
"We Are Already Living in the End of Times‘ never feels cheaply defeatist or absurdist in its long walk but rather focused on seriously parsing its thoughts and enchanting the listener with a strong set of fairly original extreme/psychedelic doom hymnals along their path." "A high recommendation." 80/100
"If you’re looking for a doom record that touches all bases of the genre, keeping a major heaviness intact while inspiring melancholy and moments of rage as well, then look no further. ‘We Are Already Living in the End of Times’ is the perfect record for our modern world, a constant reminder of the sad and declining beauty of our world as the inexorable crawl of extinction comes upon us. Fortunately I suppose we have bands like Astral Sleep to make the end times sounds good at least. An essential purchase."
"This song is so heavy that it almost physically hurts."
Thomas M on "Torment in Existence" in Metal Division Magazine.
Astral Doom Musick:
"Really great album for the coming autumn days!!"
Deaf Forever #37
“I like Astral Doom Musick also in Spring, and therefore give it 8 out of 10 HELLFIRE-points.”
“Astral Sleep are at their most refined on this third full-length"
"Astral Sleep are magnificent, and this is their greatest triumph."
"Astral Doom Musick, is a solid slab of psychedelic doom"
"Great Doom Metal record!"
Visions in doom-metal.com (album of the month 3/2013):
"There is a thin line between genius and insanity, so they say, and, if so, Astral Sleep's trajectory straddles both sides of it like a high-top juggernaut thrashing down the central reservation, one set of wheels on each carriageway and the throttle wide open."
Angel in metalcrypt.com:
Unawakening in metal-archives.com:
"Unawakening is truly original. It is dark, gloomy and a bit creepy, sometimes psychedelic, always disturbing"
S/T in archaicmetallurgy.com:
"This debut demo is easy to recommend for mad doom metal fanatics, as there's a good funeral doom piece and absolutely splendid heavy doom metal piece. Demo of the year 2005. Astral Sleep, I need some of it."