Album Review: Cosmonauts Day – Paths of the Restless
Band: Cosmonauts Day (Russia)
Album: Paths of the Restless (2011)
Genre: Melodic / Atmospheric Sludge
Where Equal Minds Theory went abso-fuckin’-lutely completely mental on our ass, another Russian band, called Cosmonauts Day, takes a whole different approach today. I’m not mentioning the two bands together here, or reviewing them so shortly after another, as the two bands are connected. Both hail from Moscow and they share members as well, at least guitarist Dima – the rest I’m unsure of, as I can’t read the Cyrillic on EMT’s album art.
But there are also differences, and they are larger than the similarities. Where EMT is completely fucked up Mathcore on some techno-club drug – I don’t necessarily mean that in a bad way, as you’ll be able to judge from that review – Cosmonauts Day, named after a Russian holiday that was instituted after Yuri Gagarin’s first flight into space in 1961, take an approach that is Sludgy, atmospheric, dreamy and melodic. And surprisingly harmonic.
Paths of the Restless is Cosmonauts Day’s second release on their BandCamp, after a four-song collection of live performances. It features eight full-blown songs of which a couple are (quite a lot) longer than usual, resulting in a total music span of over 42 minutes. The opener, titled The Captain, sketches a mysterious desolation for the bulk of the album to take place in. But quickly relatively clean guitars and atmospheric synth effects paint a picture of hope and opportunity. In general that’s an atmosphere that seems to stick throughout the record, though the experience isn’t a fully smooth one, but quite the rocky road.
The Captain, and also Cave of the Trees (track 3) and The Great Disease (track 7) are the long efforts on the record and they take plenty of time to develop their story. There’s a smooth but steady build-up of emotion and perseverance, but things do not soon get truly aggressive. Rather, Cosmonauts Day opted to paint sad stories, be it with a positive angle of attack, that yet sound harmonious and balanced. Heavily distorted guitars are used either in long, sounding chords or chugging rhythms and in both cases manage brilliantly to release some of the tension that’s going on.
The band’s Sludgy nature is always evident, yet subtly hidden in the background, behind stacks of melody and deep rolling bass. That bass is something special, if you’ve at least got some proper equipment to listen this album on. It’s full, rich, prominent, deep, chunky and everything that can possibly be good about bass. It’s not reduced to a low tone in the background but also not overly complex. Rather it’s just brilliantly accentuating the generally softer guitar work with a deep thundering chug.
That Cosmonauts Day can also be very light-hearted and positive is proven by track six, titled Satellite. It almost sounds like Brit Rock to me, be it with a more progressive nature. Bit of soulful blues in there too and overall warmer than a hot bath after a sauna. Technically songs like this wouldn’t be considered Metal anymore, but on Paths of the Restless, Satellite provides a welcome positive note and it just picks up spirits, whatever might be keeping you down. Something soon undone by the following The Great Disease by the way, with its rather dark and sad Sludge feel.
Paths of the Restless is just a very good album, but also an album that is often a bit on the edge of being truly Metal. That shouldn’t matter, but I know in practice it will matter to a lot of people. Tough luck for them then, as they’ll be missing out on something lovely to drift away on thoughts on. Indeed, Cosmonauts Day does honor to its name and takes you up to higher spheres!
My Grade: 8.5/10
Buy this when:
- you’re a space cake or you like the effects of it
- you’re into a slow-paced harmonious and atmospheric piece of Metal that has no intention to try to be tougher than reinforced concrete