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Rise from Within
Released: 2000, Black Lotus Records
Reviewer: Michael De Los Muertos
I had never heard of Astarte, and, while it was obvious just by looking at the cover (and the band logo) that this was a black metal band, it naturally piqued my interest because it appeared to be (and is) an all-female band. A track or two into RISE FROM WITHIN, and I had fallen quite far under the spell of these ladies!
The women of Astarte are from Greece, of all places, and RISE FROM WITHIN is apparently their second album. A blistering, old school black metal instrumental called “Furious Animosity” starts things out in an appropriately dark and moody vein. “Rise From Within I” (it’s actually a three-parter) first showcases the classic black vocals of Kinthia, which are nearly indistinguishable from [insert the name of your favorite male-fronted European black metal band]. Most of the songs on this album are quite ear-catching, sporting a very cold-sounding guitar style, some innovative bass stuff, and that ever-present blast beat that is the backbone of early-90s style black metal. Astarte succeeds very well in following the blood-drenched, ashen footsteps of Burzum, Darkthrone and other black metal greats, and if you enjoy that league of bands, I see very little in RISE FROM WITHIN that you won’t appreciate.
On only a few tracks do Kinthia’s vocals even sound female. When they do, she does have a tendency to sound a little like Karyn Crisis. Those stretches are pretty few and far between. Assaulting tracks like “Naked Hads” (whatever that means) and “Non-existent Equilibrium” come at you with absolutely no subtlety or mercy, just as good black metal should. It’s all cold-sounding, forlorn, and extreme. RISE FROM WITHIN kept my attention even through the last track, “Risen From Within,” which is a slow, mellow, acoustic instrumental that sounds particularly mournful and hopeless. These ladies have put a lot of passion, thought, energy and talent into this album, and it certainly paid off – by the end I was firmly sold on this band. They’re obviously fairly new and still a tad rough around the edges. I’m eager to hear what crystal-clear production and perhaps four or five albums of experience do for them.
This is an excellent album that any fan of black metal or female vocals/all female bands will definitely enjoy. Black Lotus appears to be a fairly obscure label, so I’ll give you their contact info as if this was an independent demo: Kon/pelos 72, 17236 Himittos, Athens, Greece.
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