• Atargatis - Wasteland (2006)


    Here comes another female fronted Symphonic Metal band from Europe. What distinguishes this band from most of the other ones is the interesting connection to the topic of environment and nature and the underground flair of this first official album. Some folk elements and especially the violins and flutes add some credibility to the message.

    The main problem is not the acceptable and magic voice of Stephanie Luzie or the voics of several male guest singers. The problem is in the mix or the production of the album. The guitars are way too loud and bury the breakable and sweet voice of Stephanie Luzie that sometimes is almost inaudible. This problem as well as her horrible accent lead to the problem that the interesting lyrics are misheard or simply not heard at all. And once you are able to understand Luzie in her full vocal range she does too often the typical "ohoohoohoo" parts that are almost present in every song and make the whole concept a little bit silly. Nevertheless, most of the songs are very catchy because of this repeating pattern.

    Musically, the guitars are quite heavy and stiff on this album but they don't do a diversified or outstanding job and I have the impression to listen to the same four or five riffs throughout the whole album. A few guitar solos and a little bit more imagination would have helped. The violins, flutes and orchestration musically save this album as well as singer Luzie if we are able to understand her, for example in the ballads like "Angels crying" or more diversified songs like "Selina" or "Cradle of Fern" with changes in style and rhythm. My personal highlight on this CD is the amazingly diversified and magic title track "Wasteland" even if the sound is rather bad.

    To conclude, this is a very solid Symphonic Metal album with a good singer, an interesting main topic, some exotical instruments and a few good guest musicians. On the bad side are the production, the repeating guitar riffs and the silly sing along parts. But all in all, I would recommand this album to fans of Angelzoom and Epica.


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