The band’s first live show was as support to Nazxul in November 1998. The band grew in stature thanks to a string of excellent releases and strong and consistent live performances. Astriaal first played at Metal for the Brain in 2000 and then became a regular fixture at the event. ‘Somnium Infinitus’ was a limited edition release that was issued to co-incide with Astriaal headlining Metal for the Brain in 2001 after almost a year’s worth of solid touring that left them as perhaps Australia’s highest profile black metal band.
During 2002 Astriaal headlined Sydney’s Bloodlust Festival and supported Mayhem and Destruction. Astriaal in fact played at each of the first four Bloodlust events, the only band to do so. With a live performance that built a infamous following, including a strong reputation amongst promoters, which led to the band’s support of numerous internationals over the following years including Suffocation, Deeds of Flesh, Incantation, Opeth, Nile and Pungent Stench.
Their first full length album release appeared in July 2003. ‘Renascent Misanthropy’ was voted Best Australian Album by the listeners of the Triple J program Full Metal Racket in 2003, sharing the honour with ‘Severance’ by Daysend. ‘Renascent Misanthropy’ was subsequently released in Europe in 2004 in a special digipack edition by Norwegian label Aftermath Music.
Throughout 2004 the band was mostly quiet, performing at Bloodlust and a few other selected shows. They appeared at both the Canberra and Brisbane Metal for the Brain festivals, at the second of which Astriaal announced that it would be taking an extended break from all activity, finally returning to the live scene at the Overcranked festival in April 2006. The band also supported Arcturus in early 2007. After this, Murtach was replaced by Sorin for live bass duties, marking the band’s first line-up change in a decade. Towards the end of the year the band featured on the national Festival of the Dead tour, which marked their last live performances. Obsidian Records re-released ‘Renascent Misanthropy’ in late 2007 with a slipcase and enhanced content.
Rumours continue to circulate of a new recording from Astriaal, however to date nothing been confirmed.
Gryphon has also featured as a member of Urgrund, performed session drums on Atomizer’s final studio album ‘Caustic Music for the Spiritually Bankrupt ‘and both he and Murtach make up the permanent membership of Carbon.
Edited by arrell on 3 Aug 2009, 15:50
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