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Aphrodite - Lust And War Award winner

Lust And War
by Sean McGuirk at 09 July 2019, 9:26 PM

APHRODITE is a collaboration between three Canadian musicians who each bring a unique background to their debut LP “Lust and War”, making it a thoroughly enthralling piece of old school speed metal with a mythological bent. From track one, the infectiously high-energy “Hades in the Night”, the disc delivers a warm pummeling of analog double kicks and palm-muted shredding as it takes you on a thrashing Odyssey through Greek mythos.

The group is comprised of vocalist wunderkind Tanza Speed, native of Chile and daughter of Mauricio “Jackie” Godoy, himself a member of the metal scene there since the early 1980s. Tanza has fronted a number of speed bands, including DEMONA and, most recently, OUTLINE. She brings the attitude while Jo Steel, a historically-minded persona responsible for the NWOBHM-style band ICE WAR, brings the compositions and lyrics.  Rounding out the trio is Yan Turbo, who adds some zesty leads and is currently a member of Punk / Metal outfit COLORSFADE.

“Lust and War” is greater than the sum of its parts, as it is a fantastic speed metal album that is absolutely pulsing in its hellish rhythms, supplied by Mr. Steel, with a brilliant performance from Ms. Speed, who feels at home focusing on vocals this time, without the added duties of previous projects. Her melodies are more structured here and she connects to the material, delivering lines like “In the bliss of her kiss, naked radiance/Eternally struck by the arrows of lust,” with a genuine passion, not letting the academic source material get in the way from the rocking spirit of the album.

There’s definitely a Punk / Metal flavor here, with “Ares, God of War” sounding a lot like SAMHAIN. “Lightning Crashed,” is more of a thrash crash course, while “Penthaselia,” supplies a tempered back beat and some traditional metal vibes. “Gorgon Medusa” is a standout track, with Jo Steel’s bass popping out of the mix.  The single “Aphrodite, Queen of Lust,” has a witchy vibe that best combines all of the band’s influences into one flagship track. Tanza’s charm prevents overstuffed tracks like “Orpheus Charms the God of Death” and “Thesus and the Minotaur” from getting lost, while Turbo adds a nifty lead or two to sweeten the pot.  “Gladiators,” by contrast is a relatively simple audience participation tune and a perfect album ender.

The album is undeniably good, with a special multi-tiered appeal: whether you fancy MOTÖRHEAD, THE MISFITS or EXCITER, or maybe you just get jazzed up by the Power of Myth, there’s a point of entry here for anyone into music at high speeds.  Beware the Queen of Lust!

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Hades In The Night
2. Pandora's Box Unleashed
3. Ares, God Of War
4. Lightning Crashed
5. Penthaselia
6. Gorgon Medusa
7. Aphrodite, Queen Of Lust
8. Orpheus Charms The Gods Of Death
9. Thesus And The Minotaur
10. The Odyssey
11. Gladiators (Gladiators)
Jo Steel – Bass / Guitar / Drums
Yan Turbo - Lead Guitar
Tanza Speed – Vocals
Record Label: Fighter Records


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