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Do you believe in “love at first listen”? Though it has been quite a while since, this believe has been restored with Psychorizon’s discovery of the year from 2015: Ashtar. The Swiss-based duo with members of the doom bands Phased and shEver (Witch N. left shEver in 2013) presents on epic, atmospheric mix of Black Sludge and Doom. Formed in 2012, Ashtar’s debut album “Ilmasaari” was recorded between December 2013 and April 2014 at OSA Crypt in Greifensee, Switzerland. It has been mixed and mastered by Greg Chandler (Esoteric, Lychgate) at Priory Recording Studios in Birmingham, UK.

The opening track “Des siècles qui éternellement séparent le corps mortel de mon âme” is built upon whispering lead vocals, grasp riffage and an unexpected bridge, leading into a rather uptempo final. “She Was A Witch” could be the autobiographical think piece that vocalist, bassist & guitarist Witch N. composed to introduce herself as the fronter of her own band. “Celestial” is sticking out with almost 13 minutes of thick melodies and down-tuned archaic rhythms. The second half of this six-track gem is brilliantly garnished with the choral-like backing vocals of drummer, guitarist & vocalist Marko Lehtinen on the hypnotic “Moons”. The two final tracks emphasize that Ashtar’s music is one of a kind and a well-rounded kick in the arse of anyone doubting the skills of these experienced musicians.

“Ilmasaari” is available on CD via Czar of Bullets (Switzerland), Strictly limited tape version through Antiq (France) as well as vinyl on Spanish label Throne Records. And if you’re still not fully convinced: Tom Gabriel Fischer (Celtic Frost, Triptykon) has just featured Ashtar in his top twenty album list of 2015, in the december issue of German Deaf Forever magazine.


1. Des siècles qui éternellement séparent le corps mortel de mon âme (7:12)

2. She Was A Witch (5:52)

3. Celestial (12:51)

4. Moons (5:04)

5. These Nights Will Shine On (8:22)

6. Collide (6:23)

Ashtar - IlmasaariCover Artwork created by Antï Graphic


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