When drummer Tom Wallen and singer Ian E. Highhill sat in a pub in southern Finland enjoying their beer in 2011, they talked about music and about the songs that they had exchanged amongst themselves. It soon became clear that a band would be the perfect outlet for their creativity. One of the songs they talked about had been written by a friend, Hank J. Newman, who very quickly joined the founders of the planned combo and whose visions were similar to those of Ian and Tom.
Thanks to the great contacts, which the three lads had in the Finnish music scene, they soon had more interested musicians in their circle, who also envisioned a lasting band. Finally bassist Dr. K. Lundell and keyboardist Thomas Henry who, together with Ian, was involved in another band project that just broke up, joined the group. Now that the first line-up was settled, the musical visions were set in stone and they decided on the band name of ASTRALION.
It did not take long before it became clear that Hank and Ian were in perfect harmony on the song writing front and were able to put words and music together with incredible speed. The speed was increased during band rehearsals and it didn't take long before the first live shows had been booked. During this period of musical self-discovery the musicians' experience became noticeable. Everybody could look back on their broad experience with other bands such as The Addication, HumanGod, Olympos Mons, etc...
In December 2011 the band released their first demo, entitled ”Roadside Rose”, put their new website online, and had the first professional band photos made for the forthcoming press releases.
However, ASTRALION, like so many other bands in their early periods, had to go through some heartache. Just one year after the band's formation, founding member Tom Wallen threw in the towel. Accepting the loss and as a temporary solution, the band found a professional, very committed drummer with a great background in the form of Arnold Hackman. They continued to look for a permanent drummer until they came across Mr. Voltage a couple of months later. He didn't stay long though, leaving the band in order to concentrate more on his sporting ambitions. So the lads asked Arnold Hackman back and offered him the job as official ASTRALION drummer.
Discussions about the plans for the first album took place whilst the band played as many live shows as they could. In autumn 2012 they began filming a video clip which, however, was not released until July 2013. ”At The Edge Of The World” went online and Lady Luck seemed to be smiling on the band. Before the end of 2013 the group had completed its debut album and began looking around for a label who would support and stand behind the band's musical orientation. They came into contact with Limb Music, who saw enormous potential in ASTRALION and who immediately signed the band.
November 2014 saw the release of the self-titled debut work and, at the same time, a new video clip entitled ”We All Made Metal” also took shape. The release was very successful and amazon.de saw the album reaching number 50 in the ’Highest Selling Albums of the Melodic Metal Genre’. Members of the press pricked up their ears and soon the album was receiving extremely positive response all over the world. The number of live appearances increased and 2015 proved to be a very successful year for ASTRALION.
Stagnation is death for any creativity and so the Finns began song-writing for new demos shortly after their debut release. In July 2015 they had hardly begun recording their second album when they received the news that keyboardist Thomas Henry would have to take a two month leave of absence for medical reasons. The news delayed any further recordings and even live shows booked to finance the studio rental had to be cancelled.
However, the problem did prove one thing: the band stayed together and came out of it stronger than before. Once Thomas was well again the lads finished the recordings and again asked D-Studio's Jarno Hänninen, who had mixed the debut, to mix the new album. In early 2016 the new work, entitled "Outlaw”, was wrapped up and showed that the band had taken a huge step forward in the quality of their work.
In the spring of 2016 the band had, with the help of their manager Nico Baarman, succeeded to get a considerable amount of live bookings and everything seemed to be going well again. This only proved to be the calm before the (shit) storm. Later on, in March the same year, Thomas Henry announced that he wouldn't continue as the band’s keyboard player. The news came as quite a shock for the guys: not only was Thomas a good friend and a great keyboardist, he was also one of very few mastering the art in Finland. To find a replacement for Thomas would be a harder task than they would ever have imagined.
ASTRALION was still gigging but the mood was down among the band members. Suggestions came and went: should they get another guitarist and continue with a more guitar based sound or should they use backing tapes? However, backing tapes were not an option according to guitarist Hank. He even suggested that he'd take the keyboard player’s role himself, being a very gifted keyboardist as well as a guitarist.
In January 2017 ASTRALION took a long-deserved break. It was time to think things over anyway; all the creativity seemed to have dried out because of all the problems within the band. Was this the end of ASTRALION? Well it could have been, if it wasn't for a call they got from a guitarist who had spotted them on a ‘Musician Wanted’ site. That guitarist was Manuel Martinez.
The band had their first audition with Manuel, which went better than expected. Manuel was also a very nice and easy-going guy who got along with the rest of the band immediately.
Now, with a new foundation to build on, ASTRALION can finally get on with writing new material for their third album and also continue with what they love the most, playing live shows!
Nothing usually goes as planned.. 2021 with sadness, we took farewell of Doctor K. Lundell, who due to a neck injury could not continue to play the bass and therefore had to leave our band.
The bass duties will in the future be handled by Marc F. who has already been a stand-in for Dr. K. During several of our recent gigs.
Marc has played with Hank, Ian, and Arnold Hackman in previous bands and is known for his lightning-fast fingerstyle bass playing.
Just like Dr. K. he doesn’t speak much, he lets his bass do the talking. In other words, just the kind of guy we needed for Astralion.
ASTRALION is back! For good this time!
ASTRALION's trademark is: melodic Power Metal, marked by needle-sharp guitar parts, huge keyboard melodies, clear vocals and choruses which are made to be sung by masses of metal heads. The band's motto remains: Forget the dragon, forget the sword - here's true power from the chord!