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About five years ago I found out Richard Andersson's music for the very first time. Majestic's "Trinity Overture" got me hooked with their melodic approach and Apollo Papathanasio's vocals. Afterward the neo-classical genre has lost much of its appeal though.
Space Odyssey is Richard Andersson's solo project that got formed in 2003. The Astral Episode is his second solo album, and it features modestly different line-up than on his debut. The most surprising musician of Andersson's choice on this album is the 17-year-old drummer Andreas Brobjer. Nonetheless, Brobjes performs well behind the drumkit.
The music on this album is a blend of neo-classical and hard rock with some progressive elements. Although the material on this album is adequate on average, Richard Andersson's leads have started to sound too similar to his earlier material (at least in my view). Moreover, his leads have definitely lost their charm of novelty. The one highlight on this album is the album closing 'The Seventh Star Fantasy', which favourably surprises the listener with its slightly different approach.
The Astral Episode was mostly recorded in Andersson's own studio with the exception of drums. The sounds are a bit bare, but that's the way Andersson prefers them. Few times background distortion leaks into the mix, but otherwise the recordings are clean.
The Astral Episode is an album of satisfactory quality... It could be better as it doesn't impress me a lot, but the fans of Richard Andersson will probably find it as a worthy candidate to give a listen to.
Release dates: March 29th, 2005 (Europe) and May, 2005 (USA), this album has already been released in Japan (February 23rd, 2005)
There are samples of "Through Dreams and Reality" and "Presence of Mind" on the official Richard Andersson website for you to listen.
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- MAGE (March 24th, 2005)
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