Asteroid’s third offering, Asteroid III, is a straight up masterpiece. I first stumbled across Asteroid on Hand of Doom radio, which is one of my all-time favorite resources for finding new doom and heavy blues bands. Asteroid are a Swedish trio who put out their first demo in 2004, and this offering is with one of my favorite labels Fuzzorama Records. Made up of guitarist Robin Hirse, bass player Johannes Nilsson and recent addition Jimmi Kohlscheen on drums, “Asteroid trade harmonious vibes and melodious riffs with all who listen.” 

There’s a simple and straightforward approach to this album, as suggested by the cover art of the band’s gear against a plain brick wall. It’s unassuming, but artful, and that’s reflected in the songs too. It’s a short album at seven tracks clocking in at 36 minutes, but each of them is so masterfully crafted, I find myself just throwing the album on repeat. The opening track “Pale Moon” offers a super clean slide riff that remains a constant as the backing tracks grow more and more psychedelic. “Last Days,” “Til’ Dawn,” and “Wolf & Snake” are solid heavy psych that got lost in some misplaced acid tab or wormhole from the seventies, but it’s “Silver & Gold” that keeps bringing me back to the album.

“Silver & Gold” was the first song I heard off of the album, and I’ve been drawn to it like a siren’s call ever since. A warm, tremolo melody gives the song a solid foundation for the haunting vocals and quick transition into a prog-rock percussion breakdown. There’s something timeless about the song, ancient yet modern, and that dichotomy keeps pulling me back to it. At just over 3 minutes, it’s the shortest song on the album, made up of a single verse, and my obsession with this track may stem from trying to understand how Asteroid managed to pack so much into a pop-length song.

If you’re looking for a quick heavy blues fix, I can’t recommend this album enough. It’s subtle enough to be in the background but offers enough complexity for returned and repeated listens.

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