Astronoid Credit: Karen Jerzyk

Four-piece Massachusetts postmetal band Astronoid took three years to follow up their 2016 debut, Air, with a new full-length, a self-titled album that dropped in February on Blood Music. That’s because the type of music they play doesn’t just fall together; it takes a lot of work. Astronoid’s sound is a dreamy fusion of metal, prog, and shoegaze, and because they have roots in black metal, they use its dark satanic rhythms as a foundation atop which to build risers in the sky for a celestial choir. The band’s delicate, elegant lyricism is supported by steel-girded architecture with ambitious structures, and their Devin Townsendesque guitar antiheroism and unabashed romanticism make them accessible for indie rockers as well as fans of classic and power metal (frankly, in a few places on the new album, they sound just a Tolkien reference away from Blind Guardian). Astronoid will be one of the last few releases on Blood Music, an arty Finnish metal and darkwave label known for its deluxe box sets (judging by the stressed-out personal statement that founder J issued to announce its impending closure, it’s a victim of its own success). But regardless of which label carries Astronoid forward from now on, they remain a band to watch: their music is already a great pleasure, and they seem capable of reaching even greater heights.   v