Astaroth Incarnate are back and bolder than ever. The Canadian symphonic extreme metal band started down the left-hand path with their first official EP in 2017 titled Omnipotence – The Infinite Darkness which was the successor to an unreleased self-titled one back in 2015. Their first EP picked up a vast majority of music critics’ ears to their unique style. Now the quintet are back with a new EP entitled Ascendance, which raises the bar even higher.
Across the 11 minute epic split-tracked I am Fire / I am Death (alpha / omega), the band weave a tapestry of extremity, flirting with black metal at its core while seamlessly transitioning over to melodic, gothic, doom, symphonic & death metal with ease. Dynamic orchestral motifs soar over speedy riffs, while the titular Astaroth lays down a genre-defying vocal performance. His growls, shrieks, grunts and cleans easily rival those of the scene’s compadres, imbued with theatrical malice. The guitar work is also similarly stunning, such as at the close of “Omega” when Pablo Sagastume shreds over the thundering rhythm section.
The record closes out paying homage to one of their diverse influences – the classic Cradle of Filth number “Her Ghost In The Fog” naturally with the band’s own unique twist. A fitting ending to a short dive into the twisted world of Astaroth Incarnate. The band aptly name their style of music ‘Apocalyptic Metal’, and state that “we strived for years to create something we hadn’t heard or seen before. Our Avant-Garde approach to song writing eventually led us to perceive each new song with a completely different mindset. Welcome the beginning of the end and thrust towards your ensuing demise with true purpose.”