Astral Sleep

Astral Sleep (Doom Metal) - Finland

Astral Sleep was founded in 2004 in Tampere, Finland by Markus Heinonen (also Night of Suicide, Kausalgia, Satan’s Fall, Stone Ship), together with bassist Jaakko Oksanen (also Sightless, Vesperith) and lead-guitarist Rolle Heinonen. Later on, the band recruited Jiri Pyörälä in drums (in 2008), and Aaro Haverinen (also Bloody Heathen, Kausalgia) in guitar (in 2019).

Astral Doom Musick (2020) is Astral Sleep’s third full-length album, and sixth release overall. Over the course of its production, the band has become acknowledged for a cross-disciplinary approach towards doom metal—one that aims at narrating variable states of mind and spirit, and worlds where the verges of dreams and madness intersect with those of astral dimensions. Accordingly, musical building blocks blend together into monstrous chimeras dictated by the narrative.

-Interview- (4/29/22)
1. How did you get started with music and how did you develop your sound? Who thought of the name "Astral Sleep" and is there any meaning behind it?

For all of us, music was one of the first and strongest things to resonate with when growing up. Picking an instrument and starting a band was one of the most important goals in life. When Astral Sleep came to be back in 2004, we had already established the mindset of creating something new, something of our own and something completely different. The ways to go about this were many, but right from the start we have experimented with our sound, and we try to do every album differently than the previous ones. ”Astral Sleep” is a concept that describes perfectly the kind of atmosphere and landscape our music is set in.

2. What do you want people to take away from your music?

Spiritual enlightenment and eternal happiness. Our albums have answers on how to achieve that, just follow the clues.

3. How would you describe your sound to the average listener?

It's like shoveling gravel to a well while in a thunderstorm, next to an active volcano.

4. Who are three bands you’d like to tour with?

We could easily pick numerous bands, but Yob, Skepticism and Hamferð are the first ones come to mind. Honourable mentions to Facade, Conan and Spiritus Mortis.

5. How has Covid affected what you do as a band?

Our latest album ”Astral Doom Musick” was meant to be played live and we had planned to do numerous shows. But it was released back in 2020 when the pandemic had just started. So like many bands during covid, after the album release we skipped touring and live shows and proceeded to make a new album instead.

6. What’s your take on the current state of Doom Metal?

There are lots of new Doom metal records coming out, many old bands are still going and new good bands are being introduced all the time. Extraordinarily great new Doom Metal albums are rare to come by, however.

7. What’s the current music scene like locally there in Finland?

Music and metal scene is flourishing, new bands are coming up and they have a following. Bands and audiences have craved for live shows for two years, and now they are really coming together in these times that live shows are possible again, and also appreciate them more than before.

8. What’s your take on the royalties that streaming services pay out to artists?

It is thievery. Everyone working in the streaming services who is not an artist (the creator of the content), gets paid a lot more for their work. The services have agreed with major record labels about how much they want income, and set up pay outs to indie labels and small artists and prices for customers accordingly. They offer a big portion of musical pieces in history with only 0-20 dollar monthly fee, which makes buying physical copies obsolete for most people. Although, physical copies are more ethical and better sounding options that actually supports the artists. In addition, CD is more enviromental friendly compared to the streaming services (there's an actual study about it).

9. What’s next for Astral Sleep?

New album will be released during 2022, there are several music videos on the works, and we will start booking live shows soon.

10. Any shoutouts?

Shoutouts to Saarni Music and Saarni Records (Studio and Label of Markus), The Paladin (2nd band of Jiri), and Bloody Heathen (2nd band of Aaro).