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Astral Magic

Featuring Bridget Wishart - Ad Infinitum

Review by Gary Hill

Astral Magic is always dependable for producing cool space rock. This latest release continues that tradition. The sound is enhanced by the addition of the voice of Bridget Wishart. The music here is exactly the kind of potent space rock one expects from Astral Magic. There are two bonus tracks with the vocals being provided by Astral Magic mastermind Santtu Laakso. This is highly recommended to fans of all things space rock.

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Track by Track Review
Proggy keyboard textures are on display as this gets going. The track kicks out into an energized space rock jam from there. The vocals come in over the top as this drives outward. This has some cool jamming in an instrumental section later. I particularly love some of the exploratory guitar, but the whole arrangement is great.
Liquid Light
More frantic and rocking, this doesn't lose any of the space rock magic in the process. There are some cool twists and turns built into this, and it has some cool Eastern sounds in some of the instrumental breaks.
Future Doors
This has more of the space rock we've come to expect by this point. For some reason, some of the keyboard sounds make me think of Yes to a good degree.
Planetary Intelligence
The intricate interplay that gets things going here has both space rock and more mainstream prog in the mix. There are hints of funk here, too. This instrumental piece, the only song without vocals on the whole set, works really well. Then again, everything here is effective.
Ad Infinitum

At nearly 19-minutes of music, this is the epic of the set. It starts building gradually with some great electronic prog sounds. The track shifts and changes as it continues. The vocals deliver charm and drama. After the five-minute-mark, come cool melodic guitar solos among the mix. This jam continues to shift and evolve. Like most space rock, the changes are on the gradual side. It gets pretty trippy at times. That's particularly true around the halfway mark when it turns much spacier. It gets into a more melodic jam that feels somewhat thoughtful as it comes out of there. This turns more rocking and the vocals return around the 14-minute mark. It turns toward trippy, mellower space later.

Bonus Tracks:
Mind Eater

This pounds in with some of the hardest rocking stuff we've heard on the album. The vocals call to mind Lemmy's work in Hawkwind, and this song definitely has a Hawkwind sort of feeling to it.

Lurking in the Dark
Starting somewhat chirpy, this works out to more standard space rock as it continues. The vocals are a little freaky, and this song has a real science fiction feeling to it. I'm reminded of Robert Calvert to some degree.

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