The Grand Astoria | The Mighty Few| Psychedelic Supper November
Label: Independent/ Setalight Records,Flower Punk Records
Release Year: 2015
Genre: Psychedelic/Progressive Doom Metal
Kamille Sharapodinov & friends
Since its inception doom metal has undergone many facelifts over the last 45 years. What started out a a bluesy rooted sound pioneered by Black Sabbath has certainly stretched into other sub-generes. Some of it has gone deathy while some of it has followed in the footsteps of a symphony orchestra and/or jazz ensemble. This is the path Russian band The Grand Astoria has done with their album The Mighty Few.
The Grand Astoria The Might Few is only two 20+ minute tracks. In no way is the listener swerved nor robbed of a full plush listening experience. The Grand Astoria manage to say more instrumentally and lyrically within the confines of these two tracks than most bands do with 8-10 tracks at 5+ minutes do. The Grand Astoria The Mighty Few also begins my Psychedelic Supper November. Meaning most of the music will be of a psychedelic sound that also gets into improvisational music as well. Let’s explore the The Grand Astoria’s The Might Few.
Curse Of The Ninth begins with a deep tuned down bass passage with a saxophone underbelly. This goes on for the first two minutes. At the 2:00 mark the track takes a more conventional and traditional doom laden groove passage. A doom passage more rooted in progressive metal than blues. Soon a vocal enters that reminds me a lot of the early Candlemass and Trouble. I am not sure if it is intentional but the track has a appearance of a twin guitar with a deep bass/drum rhythmic layer.
About the 8:00 mark the track takes on a heavy jazz ensemble progression with a trumpet and alto saxophone blended wonderfully with a keyboard driven passage. Their is a nice groove touch with guitars coming in at appropriate places and various times with in the jazz signature. At the 15:00 mark the track takes jazz ensemble and doom metal exchanges as far as the lead goes. For the better part of the next 5 minutes there is a progressive doom metal and psychedelic rock interchange back and forth leaving the listener in suspense and awe.
At the 18:00 mark the doom metal starts to tapper into and more fuzz pattern with a psychedelic moog mellotron at work before taking a more conventional doom metal passage around the 19:00 mark. After that it is a series of straight away doom metal and progressive time signatures at work in a pattern of exchange. About the 21:00 mark the track takes a instrumental break and is lead more by vocal chants. Slowly the instrumental comes back in play. There are sound effects that give the composition a cosmic inter galactic sound as well before going back to straight up progressive doom metal.
The Siege starts out with a straight away driving doom metal progression. It contains mellotron and hammond style organs for the keyboards. It sounds like a more old school Deep Purple meets Black Sabbath with a twist of Yes. About the 1:25 mark the keyboard takes a more clean and synth approach for about :30 seconds. At the 2:00 mark the track is a melodically methodical track. At the 2:30 mark the jazz ensemble that seems to be a staple within the sound of the band appears. The lyrical passages take on a more Occult Rock passage.
At the 3:00 mark the vocal kicks in with a very early Floydian later TOOL influence. Around the 5:00 mark the vocal reminds me a lot of Steely Dan. Around the 7:40 mark the doom metal passage takes a very post rock flavor about with a abstract tuned down fuzzy instrumental with a faded vocal that sounds manipulated through a megaphone. The Siege has more of the emphasis on the heavier doom metal and fuzzy distorted elements more so than the psychedelic elements Curse Of The Ninth had. The fore mentioned elements take nothing away from the depth The Siege still brings.
The Grand Astoria The Mighty Few had a lot of original arranged portions. Much like the progressive rock, acid psychedelic rock and doom metal of 40 years ago, The Grand Astoria have something in 2015 with The Mighty Few that will stand the test of time in 2045-2055. I give this a 4/5 for the well arranged elements.