Astaroth Incarnate
Ascendance EP

I’m always up for some bombastic, symphonic black metal, but other than maybe False, Belzebubs, Northwind Wolves and Kull (if they don’t really count as ‘new’) and some other Black Lion Records bands, there are few new, exciting young purely old school bands in the genre, as I typically rely on the old guard of Cradle of Filth, Stormlord and Dimmu Borgir for my fix.

Well, enter Canadian act Astaroth Incarnate, (formerly just Astaroth) founded/fronted by vocalist Astaroth, who clearly is a fan of Cradle of Filth and Dimmu Borgir‘s theatrical, orchestral dramatics and over the top overtures, especially in the vocal department and in the impressive keyboards/choirs utilized throughout the 3 song, 15 minute or so foray.

“I am Fire, I am Death (Alpha)” starts things off with a slow piano tinkle before exploding in impressively bombastic, orchestral fashion, unashamed of the clear influence, with high pitched rasps deep roars and gothic, sweeping epic keyboards. But its delivered with Stormlord‘s thicker, meatier production of Supreme Art of War. “I am Fire, I am Death (Omega) is a little more restrained and reigned in with more mid paced, moody marching mixed in with the regal blasts.

However, it’s the third track that initially got my attention in the promotional material, a cover of Cradle of Filth’s “Her Ghost in the Fog” from the Midian album . As if the band needed anymore sleeve bound influence to display, the cover is a visceral take on the classic song, with a few drum patterns differed and the synths having their own character while still paying homage. And Astaroth is clearly having fun mimicking Dani Filth’s over the top prose.

One of the more promising, newer, symphonic black metal bands I have discovered in a while, and I hope a full length album is coming soon.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
January 8th, 2020

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