Astarte - Rise From Within review
|Album:||Rise From Within|
|Release date:||February 2000|
01. Furious Animosity
02. Rise From Within I (Mystical Provocation)
03. Rise From Within II (Selenium Erring)
04. Naked Hands
06. Liquid Myth
07. Non Existent Equilibrium
08. Rise From Within III
09. Risen From Within
Not so long after my initial disbelief that any release that came out of Greece, and is labelled "Black Metal", can be good was completely destroyed by Rotting Christ's magnificent Theogonia, here comes another, even greater surprise from the same country. Greece appears to be a home to a very few Black Metal bands, but a very well selected few. So, why is this album, and Astarte all together so special? Well, first of all, "Rise From Within" itself is a very, very good and somewhat original release. Second, the band is composed of a group of ladies that look like they could have easily switched to modelling careers in case the music one failed. Lucky for us, that wasn't the case, because these gals took up their instruments and created some really worthwhile hardcore music.
Don't let their looks fool you: these girls can make music about as fast and as aggressive as all of the great names of Black Metal scene. What to say about it? It's well executed. powerful, brutal, fast paced.... Not always, though. Astarte's feminine side comes in here, and we see it in the way that they eventually slow things down, and make it a lot more melodic. Symphonics are also very prominent, creating a deeply dark and epic atmosphere. Song structures are complex, often switching back and forth from mighty blasts of guitars and drums to beautiful piano melodies with almost unnoticeable transitions. The feeling that you get while listening to this album can be described as that adrenaline rush you get while watching an epic battle in a movie, just a lot darker, more sinister.
There isn't a single track that you could call bad here, but some really stand out from the rest with their quality. One of them is "Naked Hands" that creates possibly the best song atmosphere I've heard in quite a while. The opening track "Furious Animosity" has amazingly well done dark symphonics that are perfectly blend in with the guitars. "Genesis", preformed solely on the piano, creates the kind of feeling you would expect from the greatest Doom Metal bands. The only big flaw I can find in any track is the vocals that are, in truth, not bad, but constantly all the same and completely unoriginal which really tends to get on your nerves sometimes.
"Rise From Within" is an album, along with Theogonia, that is going to make me seriously think about my stereotypes. It's a complex and a brilliant piece of work that is not the greatest Black Metal release, but is very close. Great music and beautiful girls. What else can you want?
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