ATARGATIS - Wasteland
Once upon a time, there was a lonely ogre living in a swamp. He won by chance a knight tournament and was chosen to rescue the lovely princess Fiona from the evil dragon's castle. At the end, the dragon became his friend and he married the princess. As making two movies was not enough for Shrek to make his living, he decided to form a metal band called Atargatis.
I hope that you didn't believe a single word of the first passage, but if these creatures were really making music, it would sound more or less the same as Atargatis do on Wasteland, their first full-length album. Stephanie Luzie (also the singer of Austrian gothic band Darkwell) prefers high fairy-like vocals as you know them by princess Fiona. She has of course the main vocal parts on the entire record, but on some tracks (Selina, Through The Mists Of Oblivion), there are angry vocals sounding like an ogre that feels annoyed and distracted by unwelcome visitors.
Atargatis are playing gothic and dark metal with a lot of atmospheric passages. Compared to their previous self-produced EPs, the hugest progress they have made is the increasing variation and the better song writing. There are still some calmer moments, as on The Crystallic Ascension, but luckily they decided not to put a single ballad on the record. Most songs are groovy and aggressive at the same time without forgetting about melodic parts or mystical sounds. Cradle Of Fern is a fine example to underline this statement.
Stephanie Luzie's vocals may be too high for some listeners and can become annoying. But I just have to think of her in her green Princess Zelda dress she wore when I saw her live at the Shiny'z in Kehlen and I must forgive her.
Wasteland is a mature gothic and epic album that is suitable for a huge metal audience, ogres and vegetarians alike.