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WEBCounter by GOWEB    

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   ASTARTE
Quod Superius, Sicut Inferius
2002
Black Lotus Records
http://astarte-site.cjb.net/


rating: 2/5

1. Reign Unfold
2. Inflamed Paradox
3. Oblivious Darkness
4. Deep Down The Cosmos
5. Astarte
6. Incarnate Legend Of Mummy Queen
7. In Velvet Slumber
8. Sickness
9. Quod Superius Sicut Inferius
10. Crossing The Wounded Mirror Of        Death
How to approach this…? Well, we are dealing with an all female band here (the only exception being their male session drummer), but the fact is that I have heard better female bands and worse male bands, so it’s hard to work the gender angle into this. Usually I would prefer to keep gender out of these matters completely, as I don’t feel it has relevance, but their record company has made such a big deal out of it in the press release, that it’s hard to ignore. While women are still fighting the stigma of being inferior and less serious musicians in the overly male dominated metal genre, I have no problems admitting that some of the major bands of the last decade have made worse shit than this. BUT! That being said, this is not a good album in my opinion, though it has the makings of one. There is nothing on here that is either innovative or original in its present form. You’ll find some Enslaved, some Immortal, a bit of Satyricon, and a whole entourage of other classical black metal influences. There are a few parts they play on the more subtle and feminine but they are not overly exploited. As a fan of all of these bands I certainly got some enjoyment out of this album, but unfortunately, that does not make a good album.

But, the band is not fully to blame. The girls prove that they are fairly competent musicians, but still the album is riddled with out of tune melodies and generally sloppy playing, and while bands like Immortal pull this off with charm, the girls are just left with an inferior production. But like I said, this is not something I blame the band for. "The Magus" is credited as producer on this release, and I for one would really like to know what the hell he/she actually did while this album was being recorded, for it was certainly not producing. A competent and creative producer could give this band a much-needed lift, and I would certainly give them a second shot if that will be the case for a future release. Something the band must take full credit for though, are the cliché-ridden lyrics with the obligatory bad grammar. But, as is the case for so many of us within the genre, English is not our native language, and the fluidity of our thoughts is not always so easily translated. But this is easily fixable… we all know someone who knows someone who can proof read and make certain the product you release is as good and as professional as possible. Obviously this isn’t applicable to all genres and all bands, but this melodic "black" metal style that they have chosen is usually represented by rigidity in form and an aesthetical superiority in content. While the band has embraced this on many levels they have not really followed it to completion.

I don’t intend for this to sound overly negative, but even after the first listen of this album I was left with a feeling that this had the makings of a really good album, but somehow just fell short of the mark. I know many will like this album as-is, but I will be eagerly waiting for the next one.

submitted by Miko 25.05.2003

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