AD ASTRA – Crust Of Ego

AD ASTRA - Crust Of Ego
  • 9/10
    AD ASTRA - Crust Of Ego - 9/10


Nail Records
Release date: February 8, 2008

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Straight from the Hungarian Underground into your home: Ad Astra certainly is unknown outside their country – yet! Because, to take part of the conclusion out of this review right away: you will be hearing more form this band in the future, or something is seriously wrong with the Metal scene today. Ad Astra is one of the bands with the greatest potential, which one may have encountered during the last years, or even decades. The quality of the album can be easily compared to the debut of Nevermore or Dream Theater, or the one and only masterpiece by Control Denied.

This is the first sign of life internationally, although the band has existed for eight years already. After several years of rotating personnel, the relevant history of the band began when Csaba Morvai joined the troup in 2004. After two demo CDs with a total of five songs sung in Hungarian language – a certain way to ensure international invisibility – the debut album Crust Of Ego was released. Now being recorded with English lyrics, the band’s event horizon is rapidly expanding.

The bands mentioned above as a comparison were chosen carefully. Not only is the band acknowledging the influence of those three Metal legends, but certain parallels in sound and style are obvious. Now add to this mixture a good helping of Thrash influences, maybe from the ‘good’ era of Metallica, and you have the recipe which creates a smashing opening track like “No Contact.” Heavy, but with enough melody and breaks to make even a Prog fan smile, it prepares the ground for a handful of brilliant tunes, faintly inspired by various bands like Dream Theater and Henning Pauly (“Stranger Faces”), Power Metal like from Zaxas (“Crust Of Ego”), or Sieges Even (“Waves”). And even with comparisons to masters like these, the Hungarian rockers’ stars still shine!

Technically the instrument section is skilled, and singer Csaba is the man needed for the job. He may not be a La Brie or Lande (yet?), but definitely belongs to the first league of Prog Metal voices. This fact, combined with versatility and the instinct for just the right measure of melody and catchiness make Crust Of Ego an early highlight of 2008. It would not come as a surprise, would this album be voted into several top ten lists even at the end of this year.

If one looks for some drawback, the only things to be found are the shortness of the album with about 40 minutes including one instrumental (not the band’s “Ytse Jam,” in this they can still improve) and a cover version of U2’s “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me.” The song is not bad, but a few additional original tunes would have been preferred. And, of course, the band does not reinvent the genre, but a certain rejuvenation can be stated.

Ad Astra have been signed by a small Hungarian label, so they do have a countrywide distribution in Hungary. Outside of their home country the album surely is unavailable. If you are interested, go to the band’s webpage and order the album on-line for only 6 Euro (plus postage)! If you still hesitate, check out Ad Astra’s Myspace site where they stream three songs. And then support the underground and buy the album!


  • Frank Jaeger

    Frank was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Bavaria, Germany. He has worked in the games industry for more than 20 years, now on the manufacturing side, before on the publishing end. Before this, he edited and handled the layout for a city mag in northern Germany ... maybe that is why he love being part of anything published. Frank got hooked on Metal at the age of 14 when a friend introduced him to AC/DC. They were listening to The Beatles, Madness, and The Police, and he decided they should move on. Well, they did, Back in Black became Frank's first Metal album, and since Germany is reasonably close to England, they had some small New Waves Of British Heavy Metal washing up on their shores: Tygers Of Pan Tang, Samson, Gillan, Iron Maiden, Saxon, Sweet Savage, Diamond Head, etc. If he had to pick his favorite styles, Prog and Power Metal would be at the top of the list.

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