Astaroth Incarnate Ascendance

Astaroth Incarnate Ascendance
8
EPs have found new life in the age of streaming, acting as perfect packages for the attention-deficit generation to discover new music. Astaroth Incarnate have released three at this point, and Ascendance is their best yet. Virtually a single, it contains two parts of the track "I Am Fire / I Am Death," as well as a cover of Cradle of Filth's goth hit "Her Ghost in the Fog."
 
Astaroth Incarnate have been skulking around the greater Toronto metal scene since 2013. "I Am Fire / I Am Death (Alpha)" isn't your usual black metal basement fare. It understands the nuance of this kind of music, whether it's the expertly spooky synth or the crowd chants that add an extra level of engagement. "I Am Fire / I Am Death (Omega)" ups the ante with a clean intro that makes the symphonic metal storm that follows sound like old Opeth jamming with Dimmu Borgir. Nice.
 
The Cradle of Filth cover must go down great at live shows, but on record, it doesn't quite make the cut. It's not for lack of trying, as Sam Astaroth pulverizes his throat to nail the vocal fry on the song's verses. Maybe it's just that we're starved for more original material. Astaroth Incarnate have all the pieces in place. They've put in the time and effort. We await the full-length with bated breath. (Independent)