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Astaroth Incarnate – Ascendance

Astaroth Incarnate
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 25 September 2019, 6:35 AM

ASTAROTH INCARNATE, literally meaning being “Astaroth in the flesh,” are an Extreme Metal band formed in October 2013 in Toronto. Over the last five years they have released a demo recording, played numerous shows, had some lineup changes to find the right members and perfect our sound and are now a solid five piece unit who all share the same vision; the vision of bestowing the ideologies of Astaroth to our hell spawns through their own interpretations and relating them to their world and society of today. Their new EP, “Ascendance,” contains three new tracks.

“I am Fire I am Death (Alpha)” opens the album, with melancholy clean guitars and a sense of darkness. The main riff hits and you know that you are listening to Black Metal, with Symphonic elements. The vocals vary from high shrieks to low guttural utterances and the entire song has an eerie effect on the listener, similar for me to DIMMU BORGIR. At one point, the vocals take on a life of their own, sounding like they are coming from the mouth of Lucifer himself.

“I am Fire I am Death (Omega)” opens with some atmosphere. It has a similar sound to the previous track with an easy entrance, but you know something big is just around the corner. The main riff hits hard, and that traditional Symphonic Black Metal sound hangs around. The piano sequence is quite haunting, and they are going for broke here with the grandiosity of the arrangement. The guitar solo at the end is very fitting and follows the melody line perfectly.

“Her Ghost in the Fog” is the third and final track. Again, it opens auspiciously but the rugged, scary sound comes in pretty quickly. This song however embraces some moments of melody along with the Symphonic elements. The operatic female vocals were unexpected, but provide another layer in the music. This is pure and raw energy, but with thoughtful steps along the way. At one point the bass guitar takes over for a bit and then there is an exchange between the male shrieks and the soprano female cleans.

Overall, this was some pretty sick and frightening Black Metal with just enough twists and turns to keep it interesting. The Symphonic elements were mostly in the background, not taking over the music, but supporting it. Astaroth, by name, is the great Duke of Hell. This is their third EP, and it sounds like they have settled on a sound that works for them. It doesn’t have all the glitz and glamour of a DIMMU BORGIR, but they are on the right path.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. I am Fire I am Death (Alpha)
2. I am Fire I am Death (Omega)
3. Her Ghost in the Fog
Astaroth (Sam) – Vocals/Lyrics
Pablo Sagastume – Guitars
Sergio Moyano – Bass
Emile Giordan – Drums
Ashley Williams – Keyboards
Record Label: Independent


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