APHRODITE - Lust And War

Aphrodite - Lust And War

11 songs
36:28 minutes
***** *****


Holy fuck! As of now that I am writing this review, Aphrodite have only forty-five likes on Facebook. Granted, the band has only been founded in late 2018, and considering that their debut album Lust And War comes not even a year after their inception, the greatness of what you get to hear is even more incredible. Aphrodite seems to be the brainchild of Canadian multi-instrumentalist Jo Steel who has the solo heavy metal band Ice War going on. Lyrics were written by Heidi Stockdale who was digging deep into Greek mythology. He teamed up with vocalist Tanza Speed, a native Chilean who apart from being an artist, a clothes designer and a rather appealing model, is also the woman behind Chilean speed metal band Demona. Not surprising, considering that her parents are both devoted metalheads. Lead guitar is provided by Jan Turbo who is a member of Canadian melodic punk band Colorsfade.

So you have a songwriter and a singer who are used to normally work by themselves, and a metal lead guitarist coming from a punk background. But as soon as you start listening to Lust And War, which begins with the pre-release single Hades In The Night, you are catapulted back into the heyday of early speed metal, letís say somewhere between 1983 and 1985. The songs are all fierce, furious and especially fast. The guitar riffs are killing, each and every one of them, and you can actually feel the heat emanating from the guitar solos. Add to this the otherworldly voice of Tanza Speed. Ok, so she doesnít always hit the right notes, but her performance is so honest and soulful that her whole act becomes devastatingly mesmerising. She used to sing already quite melodically in Demona, but the vocal parts in Aphrodite have been composed in a way that allow her to add even more emotion and melody. Fast speed metal guitars and melodic if somewhat raw vocals remind of course of the criminally underrated ZnŲwhite who released some of the best speed metal ever between 1984 and 1988. Even though Tanzaís vocals may lack the existential angst that made Nicole Lee such a distinguished vocalist, she more than makes it up with an undeniable punk rock attitude. And thatís another thing: Aphrodite play their speed metal as if they were a punk rock band. Metal purists may shy away, but everybody else will come to realise that these two apparently different genres actually work perfectly together.

The album contains eleven tracks, with not a single one making it over four minutes. And why should they? These songs are really fast, each and every one of them, and donít need much time to tell their story. There are tons of highlights on the album, like the opener, or the speed metal hymn Lightning Crashed, the more melodic Penthaselia, the sizzlingly erotic Aphrodite, Queen Of Lust and my personal highlight Orpheus Charms The Gods Of Death which comes with an unforgettable killer chorus. Rarely have I come across such a perfect metal album. This is thoroughbred speed metal done by people who knew what they were doing. The production feels like straight out from the mid-Eighties. This is not for the hi-fi fetishists among you, but those who like the breakneck pace of speed metal combined with a snotty punk attitude will fall in love with Lust And War, certainly one of the best debut albums of all times.

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