Lately I realize I have been listening to a lot of one man black metal projects, and was wondering about any type of one woman projects such as this. In the search, I stumbled across Crown of Asteria. Crown of Asteria is a one woman atmospheric black metal/neofolk project by Meghan W. of Michigan. Upon further inspection, I was actually pretty damn impressed. What we have here is black metal with heavy amounts of folk music thrown in. Cycles is a two track EP, and has just over 30 minutes of nature-infused black metal. Cassieopeia: Queen Above the Skyline starts it off, and is the main portion of the release, clocking in at just over 25 minutes in length. This track begins with some nice ambient elements and the sound of a crackling fire. Shortly after, acoustic strumming begins, and gradually builds in scope. The acoustic passages are very nice and reminiscent of Agalloch’s songs of a similar style. The transitions from acoustics to black metal are very interesting, with both styles meeting up, blending together, and the acoustic dropping off while the black metal comes thundering along. The song then transitions back and forth to and from each style throughtout, leading the listener through a voyage both bleak and beautiful. At times it sounds a little disjointed during the transitions, but it works well with the style. This song does traverse some very interesting landscapes, and is pretty awesome. The other track, Cycles, is much shorter, around 5 minutes. This track is pure acoustic folk, with ominous undertones. Cycles is a very mysterious and dark track, and brings to mind images such as a forest during the night. All in all, I am glad I stumbled across this. It is by no means revolutionary, but it is solid atmospheric black metal . I recommend checking Crown of Asteria out if you are into bands that are similar to Agalloch, or atmospheric black metal in general.
Genre: Atmospheric Black Metal, Neofolk
Label: None/Self Released
Location: Bancroft, Michigan, United States
Release: March 2nd, 2014