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Astaroth - Chaosatanas

by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 06 March 2014, 2:27 AM

ASTAROTH is a Black Metal band from Oslo, Norway, formed in 2008.  Following some line-up changes, the band have released their long awaited album here called “Chaosatanas”.  There is a long lead-in before the first vocal track called “Abyss”.  The opening riff is tinged with an Egyptian sound. Kent Are Sommerseth’s vocals are mostly shouted, but raspy and high pitched, as opposed to grunt/growls. There is a trade-off between double bass and fast picking guitars with a slower grind that has a bold, ominous sound to it. “Qliphoth” and “Xeper I Ape” continues with a driving, low end, sort-of marching rhythm in the mid-tempo area. Many of the chord changes here are just a half step up or down, giving you that feeling of doom.

Sometimes there are longer, more atmospheric passages, suspending the listener before the onslaught of the next track, as in the connection between “Ascending” and “The Chosen”, where most of the track is built on intricate speed picking.  The remaining tracks continue in this vein, and you can really hear the Black Metal blueprint here.  In “Seth,” the low end of the bass and down-tuned guitars powers the track. It gives you an eerie feeling, as if you were in a dark room with no way out, and are tortured by voices that you can hear but not locate.

“Grace of Earth” echoes this feeling. The band has clearly a strong commitment to the traditional parameters of the “Black Metal” genre. “World Enslaved” might be the best track on the album. It is a bit more up-beat and complex. There is a running guitar line that picks up some harmonies here and there.

Appropriately named after the demon Astaroth, who is a crowned Prince of Hell, there is a horrific type sound to the album as a whole. Most of the guitar riffs are straightforward, and there is no concern for much variety to the album as a whole. All of the elements you would expect from the genre are present, but it does not stray from the boundaries at all. With just a little more variety, I could see some potential for the album, as the musicianship is strong, and there is no pretention to the music. I would look forward to hearing more from the band in the future.

3 Star Rating

1. Intro
2. Abyss
3. Qliphoth
4. Xeper I Ape
5. Ascending
6. The Chosen
7. Seth
8. Grace of Earth
9. World Enslaved
10. Outro
Kent Are Sommerseth – Vocals
Max Engvik – Guitars
Andreas Waerholm – Guitars
Adne Lyngstand Nilsen – Guitars, Backing Vocals
Oyvind Kvalvagg – Bass
Carl Engstrom – Drums
Record Label: Polypus Records


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