Monolith by Astral Taurus – contemporary alternative rock twist – EP Review

Astral Taurus

Monolith from Astral Taurus is the self-produced creation of German solo artist Andre Kretschmar.

This is the second offering after his first demo back in May 2016 titled Arise. For such a tender age of 24 Andre’s album has self-confessed mature themes like the “feelings of incidence” and querying “life after death”.

The EP sounds like part of the strong 80s pop resurgence within contemporary music today, with bass tones similar to that of Shy Girls and St. Lucia. The resurgence has hardly fallen on deaf ears as more and more bands look to purchase that dusty 30-year-old synthesiser from Ebay.

There is a contemporary alternative rock twist to this work however, which is similar to bands like Brighton band Cave Painting in style and pace. Andre’s vocals are strong also and are more reminiscent of Bernard Sumner than George Michael, which makes the overall strong pop style an easier pill to swallow.

An energetic drum beat and silky 80s synths

Mirage, the first track from the EP, emphasises that alternative rock twist right off the bat, which is complimented by an energetic drum beat and silky 80s synths.  Supercluster is in more of a bass key, kicking up a thick keyboard riff throughout. Andre is obviously a talented guitarist which shows particularly in this track as he orientates around the synth with some outstanding riffs.

Tyrant, the third track, slows down the pace if just for a minute before the energy picks up again in style halfway through.

The contemporary twist, the vocals and the strong guitar riffs make it understandably appealing to a much larger audience.

Chosen One begins as a salute to airy synths but grounds itself eventually with a pounding drum sequence that then leads us to a powerful ending to the EP.

As a fully self-produced EP it’s well executed and a testament to Kretschmar’s musical talents.  A soft and melodic work, it’s aimed towards fans who have a love of new wave bands like Tears for Fears and INXS, while still serving a niche audience in most aspects. The contemporary twist, the vocals and the strong guitar riffs however make it understandably appealing to a much larger audience.

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