BECOMES ASTRAL TALKS ABOUT PALEBLOOD SKY By: Jackie Ryan
Becomes Astral is a progressive death metal band based out of Guelph, Ontario. They are made up of 5 guys: LAYNE RICHARDSON - Lead Guitars, CAM "SHAMBLES" SHARER- Vocals, JAMIE DEBRUIN - Rhythm Guitar, JOSH BENNETT - Drums, and LIAM FRITH - Bass. I had a chance to listen to their newest album PALEBLOOD SKY, which features 6 songs and has a bit of different feel for death metal bands. They feature 2 songs that are longer length, showing off more of the instrumentals. When you first listen to the album you get more of a softer vibe, but then the vocals and heavy drums and guitars hit you. SHARER out does himself with vocals with changes in pitch and screaming. DEATH MOUNTAIN is a great song to just sit down and really listen to, it has good guitar riffs (especially towards the end with solo) it has a more melodic feel and keeps you wanting to listen to more. Again, BENEATH THE SEA OF BLOOD starts off instrumental, however vocals are tamer throughout the song, which kind of gives it a more melodic sense and makes you listen to its meaning. This song has influences of IRON MAIDEN to me and the vocals are just amazing. PRAISE THE SUN sounds like a ballad at first, but then takes a bit of a turn about 15 seconds in. The guitar styling of RICHARDSON is just fantastic throughout the whole album and brings together the other guitar and bass, the drumming is heavy and very in tune with the other members. If you have a chance to check out the album, which was released August 18, you can go through their faceboook page (Www.facebook.com/becomesastral) or find them on Spotify.
I also had the chance to shoot these boys some questions about the album, what made them write longer songs, and what they plan to give back to the world.
TELL ME ABOUT YOUR NEWEST ALBUM PALEBLOOD SKY. WHY SUCH A DIFFERENT STYLE IN WRITING THIS TIME AROUND?
LAYNE--This album is a compilation of our old sound and what we’re wanting to develop to. The first 3 songs are much more like our first E.P just because they were written around the time we were recording our last release. But the last 3 songs are what we are progressing towards. I wanted the album to have a buildup of intensity and skill as it goes on.
WHAT INSPIRATIONS DID YOU HAVE WHEN WRITING THIS ALBUM?
LAYNE--The inspiration I had for this album I guess was to make it as much of a progression throughout the album as possible. We call ourselves a progressive death metal band but I guess with our first E.P I found it hard to classify us under that. So, this album I wanted the album to progress throughout because most bands get considered prog by how much they progress throughout their releases, which inspired me to show that progression through just one album.
I KNOW YOU’RE A DEATH METAL BAND, BUT WHY A FOCUS ON BLOODBORNE IN THIS ALBUM? IS THERE SOMETHING THAT YOU WANT YOUR FANS TO GET OUT OF THE MUSIC?
LAYNE--it was more an ode to those games. The title track and the 13-minute epic that ensues after it are trying to embody the games story telling because we were huge fans of the mysterious but unforgiving way the games presents itself and we wanted to do that with these songs. PALEBLOOD SKY is more based off of bloodborne so the song is shorter and more of a flow with its changes in dynamics which is how I felt bloodborne was with its style. Now PRAISE THE SUN is trying to be more like dark souls so we have it as a longer, more drawn out but also a lot more intense song. It has a lot of ups and downs and the changes are a lot more dramatic than PALEBLOOD SKY is, which is kind of how we feel how those games differed. Really, we’re just huge nerds
WHAT ARE YOUR HOPES FOR THIS TOUR WITH EYE OF HORUS? LIAM--We just want to go have some fun in all honesty. Our only hopes right now are to continuously reach new audiences while building on the fans we already have. So far 2 dates have sold out (Barrie, and Guelph), which is an incredible feeling. We spent 2 years working on this album, so like that saying goes, we work hard, We play hard (que everybody dance now).
WHAT HAS BEEN ONE OF YOUR FAVORITE PLACES TO PLAY A SHOW? ALSO, TELL US ABOUT SOME OF THE INTERESTING PEOPLE THAT YOU HAVE MET ALONG THE WAY
LIAM--I’ve done a lot of touring in a few bands, so it’s hard to completely narrow down, and in all honesty, I’m Happy playing anywhere and everywhere. If I had to narrow it down, Guelph, Barrie, Ottawa, Quebec City and Edmonton would be my top 5. We have a lot of friends in those cities just from touring with bands from each city. One of my favorite stories from touring would have to be the last time I was in Ottawa, I was sitting in my van drinking with about 6 other people, and this woman walks by us punching a guy in the back of the head and screaming, so automatically we’re on edge. Afterwards she turns to us and says, “I’m really sorry for the violence, but you know, does anyone happen to have an extra lighter?” and at this point I look down at her hands and see her holding a packed crack pipe. We all make awkward eye contact, say no, and start closing up the van, we came back about 5 minutes later and I see her down the street lighting her crack pipe, and she starts walking back towards our van. She walks by, stops, turns to us, at this point she’s holding a Four Loko and she looks me dead in the eyes and says “Yeah, I’m smoking crack and drinking in public”, and I just burst out laughing and said, “yeah I can see that”.