"Filicetum Lunare" (World War III/Mercenary Musik/Last Episode)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Astral, hailing from the Czech Republic, have an interesting mix of gothic metal and avant garde black metal. "Filicetum Lunare" has a lot going for it and should appeal to the fans of Moonspell, Theater Of Tragedy, as well as the more grandiose moments of Queen (believe it or not).

"Filicetum Lunare" is the follow-up to the now out-of-print 1998 debut "Magia Aeon" on Leviathan Records. "Filicetum Lunare" has a broad palette of instruments and vocals that give each song (and even parts of individual songs) their own character and colors.

The gothic overtones of Astral far outstrip the band's black metal leanings. The black metal taking form in Astral's music is not of the chaotic variety that you'd might expect on the WWIII label, but rather it is of the very polished, orchestral sound common to Eastern European gothic metal bands.

The production is quite good although the production is mixed very loud which can be a bit overbearing at times. For once I find myself complaining that the mix is too loud - I never thought that would happen to me. A deft hand in the studio was needed, no doubt, to accomplish the recording of the wide-ranging sounds and choral vocals of Astral's sophisticated songwriting. I wouldn't have wanted to be the engineer on this project (and I mean that in a good way).

For more information visit

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

Back to CD Reviews Home

Back to Home

Copyright 2002 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 07 Aug 2023 21:18:43 -0400.