Astaroth - The End of Silence (She Wolf Records)

A solid return from these MIA Italians...
Release Date: 
20 Dec 2012 - 11:30pm

 

Italians Astaroth effectively ceased trading in the late eighties in the face of massive indifference from industry and punters alike when they relocated to the USA to follow their dream. That dream has been festering in the back of the band’s collective mind ever since then, however, with the band finally (and somewhat inevitably)deciding to have another shot at glory in 2005.

They obviously have a very relaxed attitude to fame and fortune, as it’s taken them since then to get around to releasing The End of Silence, and even now these are songs that were written before the band split up in 1987. Hence much of this album has a curiously dated feel about it – there are absolutely no concessions to modern metal mores to be found here whatsoever.

The most unfortunate thing to note is that you can see why, if these songs are of the same calibre as the ones they were hawking around a quarter of a century ago, the band never got picked up at the time. Sturdy, unremarkable metal is the name of the game, with barely a memorable chorus or guitar line rising out of the background noise to provide a hook for listeners to snag on to.

There are some good songs – Apocalypse in the Living Room in particular sticks out with some amusing lyrics causing a smirk to appear on your reviewer’s dial, whilst Neros Fire nods towards the band’s Roman heritage (they were apparently wearing Roman garb on stage when Ex Deo were still on the she-wolf’s teat) and is a neat piece of historical metal.

American vocalist Ace Alexander (the only non-original member appearing here) does a solid job (especially on the outro of closing track Chainless Slaves) but he isn’t really given the chance to show what he can do given the limited ambition of the songs featured, whilst guitarist Max Cipicchia too often gives the hint of capabilities far broader than shown on these recordings.

Where do they go from here? It’s hard to tell. The band clearly has talent; should they care to extend themselves and actually write another album it might be worth more than a cursory listen;  however there’s a slight whiff of loose ends being drawn together here so maybe that’s not on the cards. On the whole, The End of Silence will be of interest to eighties obsessives only.