Hailing from Orebro, Sweden, Asteroid is back with their 5th release, and third full-length album, simply titled III. The trio consists of Robin Hirse (Guitar/Vocals), Johannes Nilsson (Bass/Vocals), and Jimmi Kohlscheen (Drums). Known for their stoner jams, rock and blues with hint of Swedish influence, this album has it all. Basically, the band is a modern take on 60’s and 70’s hard rock, with all of the spacey nuances, fuzzy instruments, and a progressive take on musical styles within each song.
The first track “Pale Moon” begins with a sweet beat, followed by the bass, and then the guitar on a slide, all combined in perfect time to start the jam session that is III. It is spacey, and the guitar leads you through the drum and bass groove. On “Last Days,” the vocals are introduced with the other jammy elements. The only thing that the track is missing is a Mellotron to shoot the person out to space, but they keep it simple, traditional, and still do just as well without it.
The third track, “Til’ Dawn,” reminds me of “Hand of Doom” with the level of fuzz on the guitar, the playful drum-line, and the vocal accompaniment. It sounds like it could have been a bonus track on a Black Sabbath album during their golden years.
The album breaks with the fifth track, “Silver and Gold.” It has clean guitars; it is slower and about half way through there is a splash of Swedish folk. It takes the album to a different level than first perceivable. With all of the fuzz and rock, III seems mainly a stoner rock album, but “Silver and Gold” puts it in place with the better era of hard rock and early metal when bands could, and would, take their musical talents to and from each poles of the musical spectrum.
The final track “Mister Strange” is the most standard rock track on the album. It has clean rock riffs, wailing vocals that are not in your face, and some nice and short amounts of shredding in the end. Once again they prove that they can do it all.
Asteroid’s III is a phenomenal throwback to when rock wasn’t awful while still having its own flavor and temperament. With so many modern bands sounding like botched covers of good hard rock/metal from the early days. Asteroid continue to accomplish a feat that most others fail terribly at, and that is apparent in III. If it did not have a higher production quality than what was common in the 60’s and 70’s, III could easily be mistaken for something of that era.