It had been a never-ending story, the fourth album of CRIMSON GLORY. After countless delays I had not believed that it would ever be released and when it finally was put out, well, it had been quite some time that I had read so split reviews about an album.
And "Astronomica" truly IS a very split decision. Sure, I had not even expected a masterpiece in the vein of the two first albums, but a more cohesive album... Let's get to the positive side of the album and that one has a very big plus in the brilliant opener "March To Glory". Take a song by ENYA ("Boadicea"), add to that some military and speech-samples and melodic guitars... Sounds a little weird and I'm sure that this "military" part might put some people off, but the combination is just brilliant! Other positive aspects include the oriental-infused title-track, the good, unclichéd ballad "Edge Of Forever" and "The Other Side Of Midnight", which brings some memories of the earlier works.
On the not-so-positive side we have "Lucifer's Hammer", which lacks cohesion and flow, the fact that the in itself really good "New World Machine" is dragged down by Wade Black screaming far too much in the chorus instead of singing and, well, the fall-out-track "Cyber-Christ" that they better should have scrapped in the very beginning, just like the more than 18 minutes or strange phone- and radio-cuts of something that seem to be sightings of UFOs and similar stuff.
In-between those we have "War Of The Worlds", which vocally and structurely could almost have stood on a King Diamond-album, the mid-paced "Touch The Sun" and the rather calm, yet unspectacular "Cydonia".
An uncohesive album, which features great material just as really very weak songs... Neither fish nor fowl, so only