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3.86 | 5 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 2013

Filed under Power Metal


1. Ad Astra Per Aspera
2. Anatolia
3. Son of Seriphos
4. Witch Hunter
5. The Spell I'm Under
6. Dramatis Personae
7. Dark Gorgon Rising
8. Bloodborn
9. The Stone Abomination
10. For You I Will Die Young
11. A Sad Day at Argos
12. Perseas Eurymedon


About this release

Released February 15, 2013, on Pure Steel Records.

Thanks to Time Signature for the addition


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Featuring members of Arryan Path and Prodigal Earth, Cyprian power metal act Astronomikon should contain some familiar faces for anybody acquainted with this small Mediterranean island's metal scene. With their debut offering, Astronomikon has also crafted some pretty impressive power metal as a collective; 2013's Dark Gorgon Rising is a strong entrance statement, and its massive choruses, mid-tempo riffs, and epic keyboard tones are likely to win over most power metal listeners.

Astronomikon's music is fairly traditional sounding European power metal with a strong emphasis on melodic hooks and catchy choruses. Dark Gorgon Rising is not a particularly challenging listen, but its memorable melodies, impressive guitar leads, and ventures into heavy-edged US power metal territory make for an enjoyable experience. Even though the choruses and keyboard tones may bring a band like Rhapsody of Fire to mind, a majority of the tunes here feature mid-tempo riffs reminiscent of traditional heavy metal and American power metal, rather than the speedier riffs often found in European power metal. This largely prevents Dark Gorgon Rising from sounding too cheesy, and whilst some of the choruses and lyrics are too bombastic for their own good, Astronomikon maintains a reasonable level of power metal cheese without ever going overboard.

Astronomikon's finest asset perhaps lies in Nicholas Leptos's powerful vocal performance; some of the melodies here come across as rather bland to my ears, but Nicholas still does a tremendous job delivering them with power and conviction. Apart from the vocals, Dark Gorgon Rising is a pretty standard-fare power metal release, although that isn't always a bad thing when we're talking about an album as well-executed as this one. A strong, if rather unadventurous, debut observation, Dark Gorgon Rising is one to definitely check out if you enjoy power metal.
Time Signature
Myths coming alive...

Genre: power metal

Hailing from the island of Cyprus, Astronomikon is a power metal band, and "Dark gorgon Rising" is their debut album. As power metal goes, this is actually pretty good. While there is focus on big choruses and larger than life lyrics (dealing largely with Greek mythology it seems), Astronomikon manage to avoid any trace of cheese, instead opting for epic, but dark, power metal with a slight US metal hint.

Guitar-driven, the album offers multi-layered guitar melodies and powerful riffs, which are accompanied by a thumping bass and soaring vocals. Given the subject matter of the album, it is actually a positive feature that Astronomikon make use of epic choirs and keyboards that help boost the epicness. Everything comes beautifully together in a type of power metal which is more midtempo and features more elements from classic metal than most other Euro power metal does.

This is the kind of power metal that I like: epic, catchy, guitar- and riff-driven and fronted by soaring vocals. The only thing that does not sit that well with me is the use of harsh vocals that pop up every now and then.

Power metal the way power metal should be, Astronomikon's "Dark Gorgon Rising" is massively enjoyable and belongs in any self-respecting power metal fans CD collection.

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