Astarte - _Demonized_
(Avantgarde, 2007)
by: Pedro Azevedo (7 out of 10)
This is the fifth album by this female trio (hence their borrowing the name of a warlike goddess), recorded in their hometown Athens. _Demonized_ comes out of the blocks with all guns blazing: a catchy riff sequence along with a guitar lead or three, driven by nimble drumming and later aided by snarled vocals. The music contains elements from various corners of the extreme metal world, with some viciousness among the predominant melodic leanings.

While the rather upfront vocals failed to appeal to me with their attempts at sounding demonic, the instrumental side generally did quite well in keeping things interesting, especially during the faster sections (e.g. the searing "God I Hate Them All", an early highlight). There is no shortage of ideas or skill with which to execute them, even if everything remains within the well defined confines of thoroughly explored regions in extreme metal.

_Demonized_ features a number of guests on various tracks, including Attila Csihar (Mayhem), Henri TSK Sattler (God Dethroned) and Angela Gossow (Arch Enemy), among others; none results in a particularly memorable experience, essentially adding an element of curiosity to those tracks. The song "Heart of Flames" unsuccessfully flirts with some piano and half-sung vocals, and on the two-part "Everlast" they even throw on some cello with moderately better results in part one -- quite surprising considering the all-out heavy metal attitude of the rest of the album.

_Demonized_ is a solid effort, with a few highlights and a very competent delivery throughout its (rather excessive) fourteen tracks. However, it just can't shake off the feeling that it's not special enough to stand out as a particularly remarkable release come the end of the year.

Contact: http://www.astarteband.com

(article published 3/25/2007)


ALBUMS
6/7/1998 S Hoeltzel 8 Astarte - Doomed Dark Years
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