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Daily Album Premiere Monday: MISKATONIC UNION – Astral Quest

by Zac Halter

If you don’t know H. P. Lovecraft (an American horror fiction author) you will miss the influence on Miskatonic Union’s music.  For example, Miskatonic is a Lovecraft creation for a fictional university in his stories.  Influence aside, is Astral Quest any good or will this Chilean band, like Lovecraft, toil in obscurity?

The songs are rooted firmly in Traditional Heavy Metal.  The opening track “Awakening” swings for the bleachers showcasing every capability at once.  It starts with an overly long acoustic and vocal intro similar to “Silent Lucidity”, then the guitar crescendos before settling into a Maiden-esque riff.  It then ricochets back and forth between the acoustic intro and the central riff.  The song has engaging elements but leaves the listener confused and poised on a precipice waiting for resolution.  “Road To The Mountains Of Madness” follows and exposes the limitations of the vocalist.  It’s his misfortune he sounds like Geoff Tate because it’s a tough standard to uphold.  The vocals are thin, underpowered, and the high notes are somewhat comical.  Cases in point, the opening wail of “Miskatonic Union” and the chorus of “Nostradamus”.  Vocals are best in a low register and subdued in the mix as in “Astral Wings” which results in a heavier Judas Priest sound and a stand out track.

Astral Quest could build on some bright moments but most songs lack memorable hooks and the weak vocals are distracting.  Recommended only for die-hard Traditional Heavy Metal fans.


Track Listing:
1. Awakening
2. Road To The Mountains Of Madness
3. Bushido Ninja
4. Miskatonic Union
5. Nostradamus
6. Astral Wings
7. Captain Sparrow
8. Where Is Your Nation Now?
9. I Always Do What I want
10. The Quest You’ll Be Alright

Band Members:

Raul Saa – Vocals
Hector Paris – Guitar
Paul Rajcevic – Bass
Rodrigo Meza – Guitar
Carlos Retamales – Drums


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