Astronomy is the fourth studio album by Swedish power metal band Dragonland, released in Europe on November 13, 2006 and in North America on November 28, 2006. While their third album Starfall focused heavily on keyboards and had a more upbeat lyrical tone, according to guitarist Olof Mörck, Astronomy is "gloomier, more stygian and packed with crunching guitars; both furiously fast and bone-grindingly heavy."
In a February 2007 interview with Metal Reviews, guitarist Olof Mörck went into details about some of musical and lyrical influences in Astronomy:
Olof and Elias Holmlid were inspired to write the "The Old House on the Hill" trilogy by listening to film scores, and they attributed this trilogy to Danny Elfman, probably most famously known for his Tim Burton's Batman theme and the The Simpsons theme. Unlike the "The Book of Shadows" trilogy from the Starfall album which had the story written after the music was composed, the "The Old House on the Hill" trilogy's story was written by Olof, and it took about six months to get the song fully fleshed out and recorded.
As suggested with the album title, many of the songs on the album are based around space subjects:
"Supernova" sings about the beauty of an exploding star (supernova).
The song "Cassiopeia" tells the tale of Queen Cassiopeia, wife of King Cepheus of the mythological Phoenician realm of Ethiopia, who claimed that both her and her daughter Andromeda were more beautiful than all the Nereids, the nymph-daughters of the sea god Nereus. To avoid the God's wrath, she sacrificed her daughter Andromeda by chaining her to a rock near the water's edge, but the Greek hero Perseus saved Andromeda, soon becoming her husband. Poseidon decided that Cassiopeia didn't deserve to escape punishment for her vainness, so he put her in the heavens as a constellation for all eternity.
"Contact" is about first contact with aliens who turn out to be conquerors instead of saviors and destroy mankind.
The title track "Astronomy" deals with the power of astronomy.
"Antimatter" deals with the exotic properties and mystery of antimatter.
Another point of interest is the song "Beethoven's Nightmare" which intertwines heavy guitar riffs and classical piano melodies to tell the story of Beethoven writing a symphony about a tragedy that is consuming his life, while he laments about being deaf and wishing he could hear a sound "that could open my mind".