After five minutes of an intro it turns out that Astral Path is a black metal project. It gets nasty and blasty with a soaring atmosphere hovering in the rabid snarl. The screamed vocals sit back in the mix. The title track might not have the long winded intro, but it's not much different than the opening song. The vocals scream from the same static space, the only difference is the guitar melody linger over things and it's a little less blasting. It's not until the final minute and half that the song puts some distance between itself and the opener by adding some much needed melodic dimensions.
There is even more of a dynamic shift on the song "Between Appalachia and The Shield" which has a darker and more emotional component to it that almost borders on being depressive black metal, thus making it my favorite song on the album thus far. The final minute of melodic ambiance does provide a dynamic shift, but it also drones on this atmosphere a little longer than perhaps this album really needs after getting five minutes of that right from the beginning. They get straight to the blast beats on " A Virulent Decision". This duo from Canada does begin to make some rather solid decisions by slowing things down midway into the song.
The album ends with the ten and a half minutes of "To Vega...". They go a blast beaten path more travelled, but race into the darkness a little differently. It's hard to tell if it is just a production choice that gives them this odd outsider sound, but listening closer it sounds like it's all in how the guitar is being being picked . It's a cleaner sound than most black metal projects have in this regard. They put the brakes on as they are racing toward the five minute mark which is another wise choice on their part. Things pretty much pick up where they left off. Some of the more sonic accents are nice sonic touches. I'll give this one an 8.5, these kids are onto something good, would like to hear more of the little touches that set them apart in the future.