Greek all girl band ASTARTE always seemed to have been a bit hit and miss, with some truly excellent songs, but also some filler material. I had enjoyed their 2002 album “Quod Superius Sicut Inferior” so I was looking forward to their latest, their fifth, effort “Demonized”, now coming via Italian Avantgarde Music and the gals managed to enlist the service of four (!) guest vocalists, namely Attila Csihar (MAYHEM), Nicolas Sic Maiis (Lloth), Henri Sattler (GOD DETHRONED) and fellow Metal maiden Angela Gossow (ARCH ENEMY).
14 songs and almost 65 minutes of music is quite some quantity, can the quality keep up with it? And going with my initial sentence, the answer is yes and no. With “Mutter Astarte” the girls deliver an almost perfect start, with tons of power generated by aggressive double-bass and tight riffing and also lots of atmosphere courtesy of eerie sounding keyboards, plus Tristessa’s gruff vocals, a song to sweep the room with! “Lost” also should be named as a highlight with its good drive and power, varied speeds and good melodies, unfortunately we then experience a drop-off in quality until “Queen Of The Damned” with GOD DETHRONED’s Henri Sattler, a dark and brooding track that sets itself apart from the rest.
The two parts of “Everlast” are worth mentioning as well, with acoustic guitar, piano and some cello, the first part then also going into the ASTARTE mode of Metal, while the second part is completely played on the piano and the acoustic guitar and that ACCEPT’s “Princess Of The Dawn” is a cool song, no matter which kind of Metal you stick it in, is well known as well. The rest of the songs, including the ones with the other guest singers, are well played for sure, but mostly fail to impress, a good guitar lead, some good melodies, interesting dynamics here and there, but in the end 14 songs are just too much, a little less could have gone a long way instead.
The good songs, though, definitely are worth your attention, the girls have talent, they just need to focus a little more…
(Online April 23, 2007)