by MythofRock

Wade Black‘s vocals have always been a source of admiration for me. The singer, chosen by Crimson Glory to succeed Midnight (R.I.P.), possesses an exceptional, high-pitched voice that seamlessly aligns with traditional US metal. The anticipation was palpable when I learned that Black would resurface with a project named “Astronomica” akin to the album released by Crimson Glory with Black. My excitement was justified after immersing myself in the “The Awakening” album. This is undeniably a serious US power metal offering—stripped of embellishments, free of compromises, and unbounded. From the opening note of “Deceiver” to the concluding chords of “Sirens”, the album delivers precisely what you expect: first-class American heavy metal, characterized by a mid-paced rhythm, melodic hooks, razor-sharp riffs, soaring vocals, and thunderous drums. What sets this US metal album apart is its profound inspiration. Devoid of filler, each track offers something unique, creating a series of peaks akin to a mountain range. The compositional prowess displayed in “The Awakening” is remarkable, securing its position among the top echelons of American heavy metal. Every song stands out as a highlight, with fresh and interesting ideas permeating the entire album. The more you delve into it, the more you appreciate its rewarding nature. While the spotlight naturally falls on Black’s commanding voice, Rich Marks also shines with a virtuoso performance on the guitar. In summary, Wade Black’s debut album with Astronomica is a significant contribution to the realm of American heavy metal. It stands ready to be embraced and celebrated by metalheads worldwide, constituting a US metal masterpiece that demands recognition.

♦ 8/10

Dimitris Zacharopoulos

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