Today, we’re featuring one of the most promising bands in the realm of instrumental progressive metal, hailing from Sibiu, Romania. For those who may still be unfamiliar with Doomsday Astronaut, they embarked on their musical journey in 2022, formed by guitarist Waqas Ahmed. Upon my first encounter with the band, I was not only captivated by their technical prowess but by their musicality too. And despite not being a devoted fan of progressive metal, I couldn’t resist acknowledging the creativity and sheer artistry showcased by Doomsday Astronaut.
On October 4, the band released a new album called ‘Djent Djinn,’ while on October 6 they started a Romanian-wide tour. But we’re here for the album, though. Opening ‘Arrival,‘ perfectly warms us up for what’s about to begin. By introducing noticeable influences and motifs from Arabic sounds, ‘Arrival‘ is both expressive and immersive, serving as the perfect introduction to the poignant record.
Then comes ‘Born of Smokeless Fire,‘ and you’re not granted a second to breathe. This stands as a powerful progressive metal track, emanating a badass atmosphere and energy all over. Moreover, ‘Born of Smokeless Fire‘ is a bold instrumental composition that highlights Waqas’ remarkable guitar skills, deep understanding of music, and composition abilities. The seven-minute track exemplifies what I would say is a testament to his ability to craft complex musical passages.
From a technical standpoint, ‘Yojimbo Unleashed‘ is more melodic yet embodies modern sonic vibes, leaving no room for criticism. The sound strikes a perfect harmony, and the band has done an incredible job in capturing all the needed nuances that listeners crave from such a band. With this track, one can detect an enticing blend of influences, Dream Theater included. However, Doomsday Astronaut‘s innovative thinking, progressive phrasing, and guitar skills make for a distinctive approach and unique musical style.
While there is no strict formula for sonic success, on ‘Awaken the Pharaoh,’ every instrument dances and entangles with one another in perfectly crafted choreography to deliver one of the most consistent and impressive tracks. ‘Groove Monkey‘ doesn’t fail to impress. The track is straight killer, melodic throughout, and carries just the right amount of energy. From the guitars which lay the foundation of the sound with some bright, powerful melodies and classical fingerpicking to the perky bass which gets incredibly fast at some points and has a very clean tone, everything works just great.
Clocking in at over five minutes, the closer ‘Premonition‘ delivers a timeless guitar melody and is the perfect way to end this album. Waqas’ ideas for bringing such music are paying off brilliantly, and I think his effort is one of the best as he has created an album recommended for all lovers of progressive sounds. In fact, ‘Djent Djinn‘ is an album showcasing even further passion for the genre he has dedicated his life to.
The solid foundational material of ‘Djent Djinn‘ is guaranteed to satisfy the band’s fans while providing a perfect entry point for a newcomer. Moreover, the instrumental performance and production are top-tier, and they do get extra points for delivering something for everyone. To close it up, the album sounds great upon first listening and only gets increasingly addictive with repeated plays.
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