With just this three song EP to their name thus far, Astral Mass is one of the ballsiest bands to recently come out of the stoner rock scene. The Indianapolis trio’s confidence isn’t unfounded; the guys in it have served in Apostle of Solitude and The Heavy Company, among other local staples. That said, the music would be just as aggressive and energetic without those credentials.
As the riff kicks in for “Cosmic String,” it’s clear that Astral Mass is putting their best foot forward. While the drums feel distant in the mix, the guitars show off a bright crunch and the trudging bass retain the power whenever the leads go into some echoing effects. The vocals also drive the song nicely and plenty of hooks are delivered in a bellow that crosses Clutch’s Neil Fallon and Ben Ward of Orange Goblin.
From there, the other two songs aren’t as catchy but still bring some variety. “Clear The Tower” shows the group’s instrumental process as the drums become more prominent to strengthen the galloping riffs. The closing “Rise Armada” serves as the EP’s most dramatic track, due to the building riffs and gruff vocal layering.
Astral Mass’s debut EP serves as a promising debut and shows more variety in three songs than most bands do in a full-length. As much as I hope their next outing has a bunch of songs like “Cosmic String,” the band’s confidence results in quality performances regardless of mood. Hopefully they’ll blow up in the near future.