Worlds Inside the Worlds

The Russian-based atmospheric, ambient, and space music group, Ashterra, is spearheaded by Vladimir Volodin and Roman Pavlov. The new album, Worlds Inside The Worlds, is an intergalactic romp through outer space if musical instruments resided in different galaxies. The result is a twelve-track album that is wholly instrumental and steeped in the electronic world of keyboards and avant-garde sounds.

“The Secret” begins with a few synth pads and trickles of electronic brilliance amidst an ocean of aural sound. The electronic accompaniments are swishy, drippy, and industrial with soft electronica sounds pervasive throughout. There are creaks and knocks that are very appealing early on—especially when mixed with the eerie blurbs and keyboard embellishments. The spacey, new age, drum percussion is great throughout. The atmospheric and spacey sounds are steeped in Enigma-like arrangements with a hint of Tangerine Dream.

“The Consciousness Of The Atom” opens with a few industrial blurbs, pings, and eerie percussion with environmental noises and theatrical sounds that are avant-garde and experimental. There are angelic backdrops that echo a sense of atmospheric beauty and a heavenly realm untouched by human hands, but Ashterra mixes in some electric guitar-like sounds that only add to the already complex mix of aural pleasure. The swirling, industrial sounds rest mid-song, but pick up in intensity during the latter half of the song. There is a space rock feel with electric guitar sounds, ear-piercing electronica, and pounding percussion that breathes life into the album.

“Scent On The Water” begins with piercing, clear sounds that bounce off each other into a distant abyss of electronica in a rather mysterious way. There are some keyboard sounds that resemble blurbs, pings, tones, and rings. There is a hydrologic quality to the sounds, as they come across in a watered-down manner. For example, the sounds are varied, but the tones seem rounded and polished in a way that resembles fluidic movements and sounds. There are sonar- type tones mixed with a heavy, industrial theme that makes this song resonate without sounding overdone.

“The Flow Of Eternity” opens with a few, deep thuds and a swishy, electronic base. The ebb and flow of sound resembles breathing sounds with a few drippy blurbs and industrial tap, twinges, and cracks. There is a contemporary, ambient element here, which is permeated with an atmospheric instrumental foundation that is undeniably intriguing and meditative in a trance manner. The percussion is more prominent during the latter half of the song. Still, the song transforms electronica into a spacey, ambient, and trance-inducing, intergalactic journey for the mind and soul.

“Arcturus” begins with a water or fire sound with crackles and thuds that are permeated by a single, clear sound and backed by an atmospheric display of spacey constructions. The twinkling sounds are mixed with horn-like sounds and a drippy, spacey beat. The symphonic array of sounds resembles showers of sparks, fluidic movements, and crystalline sounds. The swishy percussion sounds, clanging, creaking, and wooshing sounds are a thing of beauty.

Ashterra’s new album, Worlds Inside The Worlds, is an album that spans the gamut of experimental space, ambient, lo-fi, new age, electronica, and down-tempo music. The instrumental sounds are backed by electronic embellishments that are more than interesting to listen to. The music takes listeners on adventures into the spacey void of electronica with a little beat to go along with it. The music is a spacey form of Enigma and Tangerine Dream, but the similarities are fairly pronounced. At any rate, Ashterra rocks the world (and galaxy) with a new album that transcends time and space without resorting to hokey vocals or meaningless sounds.

Review by Matthew Forss
Rating: 5 Stars (out of 5)

12 tracks, 63min 29sec

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