Astarte – Sirens

up_030705_astarteI haven’t heard this band since their full-length debut on Black Lotus Records some years ago and it seems that the 3 ladies that make up Astarte have evolved out of the black metal clichés they upheld in the past into something a lot better rounded and challenging. “Sirens” is actually a very good release featuring a lot of musical surprises and overall warmth and maturity in their harmonies. The vocals still fit within the black metal realm, but Tristessa’s vocals offer a really sharp and interesting delivery that upholds the traditions of the genre while injecting an aura of uniqueness. The music takes on a bi-polar mix between mid-paced black metal with a strong death metal undertow in regards to a full tone, and a thrashier attack meets Celtic Frost groove as found on the excellent “Deviate”. The Greek metal influence creeps in as well with atypical and often mystical guitar harmonies that gives their music that extra level of uniqueness rarely explored by other bands in this genre. Effective synths and the occasional acoustic guitar part pile on the atmosphere and culture for these ladies to sneak in with their beauty and knock all the men dead with their highly developed chops and knack for writing truly passionate dark/black metal. Add cameo appearances by Sakis (Rotting Christ) and Shagrath (Dimmu Borgir) along with a video for the track, “Black Mighty Gods” and you have a surprisingly great disc sure to darken your thoughts for years to come. Damn good stuff. – Marty

~ by martyworm on January 2, 2009.

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