ARMONITE – And The Stars Above

ARMONITE - And The Stars Above
  • 7/10
    ARMONITE - And The Stars Above - 7/10


Cleopatra Records
Release date: March 15, 2018

User Review
9/10 (2 votes)

Instrumental Prog Rock act Armonite are back with their sophomore release, And The Stars Above. Stylistically, this follows closely to the band’s 2016 debut effort, The Sun Is New Each Day, and features a wide variety of instruments and guest or one-off session musicians. Fans of Porcupine Tree, King Crimson, and Yes will enjoy this release as it offers a nice blend of musical styles while showcasing extreme technical skill. That being said, this album may fall into the trap of being “music for musicians” and, at times, may become uninteresting to casual Pop / Rock audiences or simply be lost on those with more simplistic musical tastes. A bit a patience on the part of this listener will be rewarded with a deep, intellectual, musical experience.

One interesting and unique aspect of And The Stars Above is that although this is considered Prog Rock, neither of the band’s primary writers play traditional rock instruments. With violin and piano being the songwriter’s chosen voices, the tracks end up with a noticeably orchestral vibe. For this reason, fans of Trans Siberian Orchestra may also enjoy this release.

The album stars off nicely with several powerful, up-tempo tracks like “The March Of The Stars”,  “District Red”, and “Blue Curacao” before settling into a heart-wrenching ballad with “By The Waters Of Babylon”. Including the two bonus tracks, And The Stars Above maintains an excellent flow and consistent story-line throughout it’s playing time.  As a whole, while this album does, at times, tip-toe over the line separating cool and pretentious, there is so much talent and originality on display here, it’s hard to turn off when you’re in the right mood.


  • Maxxxwell Carlisle

    Maxxxwell was a reviewer and the host of The Maxed Out Metal Hour here on Metal Express Radio. He is the current lead guitarist for LA based metal veterans Hellion. In addition to his ongoing role in Hellion, he has also released 5 albums as a solo artist and appeared as a guest writer and soloist on Michael Angelo Batio's Intermezzo album, named one of the Top 5 shred albums of 2014 by Guitar World Magazine. He continues to collaborate with various Metal musicians and teaches guitar technique and Metal composition via Skype. Additionally, he is a former competitive bodybuilder and enjoys a lifestyle based around health, fitness and Metal.

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