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A Lesson In Melody: Astronoid - Radiant Bloom Review

The Boston-based post-metal unit stray from the flooded ranks with a towering endeavor.

Photograph by Jeremy Saffer

Words by Luis (@heaviestofart):

A week ago today, 3DOT Recordings gave way to one of the most grandiose offerings in its small but mighty catalog. The offering, Radiant Bloom, was Astronoid's 3DOT label debut and came highly anticipated following the success of their 2019 self-titled full length. With introspective lyrics driven by life's highs and lows and a sonic tapestry made up of an expansive selection of threads, Astronoid deliver big.

From the ceremonial opening that is Admin, listeners are introduced to what is a beautifully textured composition that puts the band's post-rock, shoegaze, and djent blend on a pedestal. The slow-building track transitions into the celebrated lead single, Eyes, the likes of which treads down the center of heavy and gentle tones. The precise balance that is established here is audible throughout Radiant Bloom as frontman Brett Boland soars with wondrous vocal melodies while Matt St. Jean erupts with an eclectic drum performance to strive for. The following Sleep Whisper continues down a graceful path and pairs well with the soothing nature of the album cover's color palette. It's exactly what you'd expect from picking this up randomly on a record shelf with no prior knowledge of the band's discography. Boland's excels with melancholic vocal melodies here and tremolo-picked riffs capture the slight glimpses of aggression that Astronoid layer within. More of said aggression is present on Sedative, a more heavy metal leaning selection that is sure to be a crowd favorite when the Radiant Bloom live show comes around.

As one nears the second half to the record, the band's versatility comes to a high point with album standout, Orchid, exemplifying the very best of what the "post" genres can achieve. Explosive blast beats and ethereal bliss collide to form one electrifying epic that could very well serve as a showcase for Astronoid as a band. The profoundness Radiant Bloom extends beyond its musical structure, but in its lyricism as well. Human is an act of reflection that takes on our dependence on technology while addressing the disconnect from each other. A seven-string guitar and Daniel Schwartz' synthesizer work make this one special offering that would please any listener keen for a serene sitting.

The "album of the year contender" tag gets thrown around quite often from month to month, but very few are worthy of such acclaim. Radiant Bloom is among those who are for what Astronoid craft here is nothing short of breathtaking, compositionally and emotionally speaking. It's a cathartic experience that astounds and excites with every moving passage and melody that stems from the cohesive sound that the collective so meticulously create. It warrants multiple listens for one to fully grasp the breadth of influence and impact that Radiant Bloom is capable of, as the expansive closer, Decades would attest. Let Radiant Bloom guide your next night or coastal drive and watch the endorphin levels rise.

Radiant Bloom is available now via 3DOT Recordings (Order).


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