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About Astronoid

New England metal quartet Astronoid defy simple definition. Combining elements of black metal, shoegaze, punk, and dream pop, the band created a cross-blended medley of genres that recalled possible unions between Devin Townsend and Alcest, Deafheaven and Mew, or M83 and Deftones. They issued their critically acclaimed debut, Air, in 2016.

Formed in 2012 in Lowell, Massachusetts, by vocalist/guitarist Brett Boland and bassist Daniel Schwartz -- former members of post-hardcore thrashers Hetfield & Hetfield -- Astronoid began as a school project that was almost forgotten. However, after unwittingly building a following through some uploaded music on the Internet, the band got to work on their first EP, the two-song November. Their sound -- especially on the eponymous "Astronoid" -- was purely black metal, containing demonic growls, pummeling drums, and a wall of guitar haze. The following year, they released the Stargazer EP, which featured increasingly harmonious vocals layered over a melodic black metal heart. They recruited a trio of new members -- guitarists Casey Aylward and Mike DeMellia, as well as drummer Matt St. Jean -- and got to work on their debut full-length, 2016's Air. Released by Finland's black metal Blood Music label, the critically lauded LP attracted definitions like "blackgaze" and "dream thrash" for its dizzying marriage of seemingly disparate genres. After extensive national touring, Astronoid returned to the studio for a follow-up, during which time DeMellia parted ways with the band.

Continuing to hone their heavy-yet-ethereal style, the quartet issued sophomore effort Astronoid in early 2019. The set included "I Dream in Lines" and "A New Color." ~ Neil Z. Yeung

Lowell, MA

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