A less kind reviewer might label a song such as Astrofield a power ballad. It does share some of the same hallmarks. But such a label also comes with lots of unnecessary baggage, usually thanks to poodle-haired, eighties glam metallers. (Which was certainly not metal and had little of the adventurousness and purity of the original glam movers and shakers.) Thankfully you can wipe any thoughts of such associations from your mind, for although Astrofield is built of the same on/off dynamic, wanders similar lulling/crescendo and ebbs and flows across many sonic peaks and troughs, power-balladry this is not.

As I have said before, NinémiA operates by having one foot solidly planted in hard rock/metal territory but allow themselves room to plant the other into a variey of associated musical realms. Even when delivering a song which steps slightly away from their more tsunami-like deliveries, as they do here, they still manage to juggle everything from understated interludes, technical guitar prowess, progressive ornateness, thunderous high points, lows that wander into almost classical territory and use of dynamic control which goes beyond mere rock or metal.

Perhaps more than anything that has gone before (though this is only the third time that I have put pen to paper on behalf of their music), Astrofield shows their full musical and emotional range. A truism in the more formal, classical world says that most musicians can play fast, but when asked to tackle slower music, only then can you measure a player’s control, skill, tone and dexterity. I think that holds for rock bands too. Writing a three-chord groover and blasting your way through it is easy. It is harder to write and deliver songs such as Astrofield. Very much harder.

Within it, you find hidden depths, suppleness and subtleties, interludes and connecting passages garnered from other genres, and the ability to be adventurous, to soundscape and to be inventive. And it does all of that and still finds favour with the traditional metal fan.

That is what makes NinémiA so good at what they do. And whether you like your metal technical, progressive, heavy, symphonic, experimental, deep, meaningful or deftly done. They have it covered.

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