ASGAARD – Stairs to Nowhere

ASGAARD - Stairs to Nowhere

Origin: Poland
Genre: Avant-garde Metal Progressive Metal
Label: Icaros Records
Year: 2012

Asgaard is a band I always liked and I’ve watched their discography since the beginning. This Polish group was formed in 1994 and in 1997 released its demo “Excellent Darkness Art”, one year before the debut “When The Twilight Set In Again”. This debut is very different from the rest of the band’s works! They actually played a mix of symphonic / classical, gothic, black metal with both male and female vocals and a relatively poor production. In 2000 the second album “Ad Sidera, Ad Infinitum” was out and their music was changed to symphonic avant-garde black metal, something that continued in their next two albums “Ex Oriente Lux” in 2001 and “XIII Voltum Lunae” in 2002, where the band improved drastically its sound. In 2004 they released “EyeMDX-tasy”, an amazing album with excellent production and some new progressive elements in their music. Unluckily after that the band was silent for 8 years, but in 2012 they return out of nowhere with their 6th full-length “Stairs to Nowhere” and a totally fresh sound!

Stairs to Nowhere” has definitely nothing to do with the black metal past of the band anymore. Asgaard move now into more experimental avant-garde paths with a progressive metal base. Their production is crystal clear and their guitars have a modern metal sound. I can also listen to some jazz, trip-hop, electronic and gothic metal influences and I have to admit the band managed to “marry” them skillfully in its music. They like to call this new style transgressive post-metal… Przemysław “Quazarre” Olbryt (also in Devilish Impressions, Crionics) is doing an excellent job and his characteristic clean avant-garde psychedelic vocals are simply amazing and they have always been what I liked most in Asgaard all these years; the trademark of the band in my opinion. His brutal screams are now almost vanished, but he has found new ways of expression, enriching his clean vocal styles. The band uses a lot of synths in its songs, not in a symphonic style anymore, but closer to progressive metal keyboards. There are 8 songs in the album that lasts for 40 minutes, but seems much longer thanks to the complexity of compositions and the often changes inside the songs. Even if each track is very different from one another, the album has a very solid and characteristic atmosphere, which is very good for the band.

I am sure open minded fans of progressive experimental avant-garde metal will adore “Stairs to Nowhere”. I can say it’s pretty addictive, even if it’s not my favorite style of music. I must admit I preferred Asggard’s previous avant-garde black metal works, but that’s only my personal taste. The overall sound, production and composition level, shows that we have to deal with a really talented and unluckily equally overlooked band (especially outside Poland). The album is released by the new label Icaros Records and it comes in a wonderful 3-winged digipak edition with 16-pages booklet and breathtaking artworks created by Xaay (Nile, Kamelot, Necrophagist etc.). You can follow the links below and discover the music (new and older) of this great band.


Rating:  (8,5/10)




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