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Quite recently I had the honour of providing this website with its lowest scoring review. The band in question had irritated me with their lacklustre effort, topped off by an arse-puckering cover of a Metallica song. I remember questioning the validity of a metal band covering a metal song. Artas seem to have answered that by including a cover of a rap tune on their debut opus 'The Healing'. Not only that, they felt confident enough to chuck it in as the third track. The song in question is a cover of Coolio's rather splendid 'Gangsta's Paradise'. And you know what, I think it's wonderful. Sure, it's a slightly flawed attempt, but it shows that a decent arrangement, and a touch of bravery, can yield positive results. Anyway, to the original material on offer. If the idea of a mix-up of Meliah Rage, Sepultura, Voodoo Cult and Face Down (without the electronics) floats your boat, then welcome aboard. Track 1 'Barbossa' is like a modern sea shanty the likes of which pirate metal bands of today can only turn into sea-sick parody. The rest of the album is typical European anthemic metal. In fact the title track is a wondrous slice of retro-sounding thrash I had forgotten had existed. Melody floats around throughout, especially in 'Fick Das Fett'. My experience of the album mired only by the label's insistence on shoe-horning a standard pirate-floundering "you are listening to" style message in the middle of 'Rhagenfels', and then sporadically throughout the rest of the album. I can't blame the band for this of course, and would be criminal to reduce the score because of it. It's an annoying trend though; it takes you out of the atmosphere temporarily. It takes repeated listening to really appreciate the nuances this album brings; sure it's not high art, but there is a lot going on beneath the initially bombastic layers. The vocal work especially is well presented, and you can tell thought has been put into it. Unusual too is the inclusion of black metal style tremolo picking. A brilliant work from a promising European band.
Napalm Records
Review by Steve Cowan
29th Sept 2008
1) Barbossa; 2) Bastardo
3) Gansta's Paradise
4) The Healing
5) Fick Das Fett
6) Rhagenfels
7) Through Dark Gates; 8) Blut
9) The Butcher's Guilt
10) Kontrol
11) From Dirt We'll Rise
12) I Am Your Judgement Day
13) A Song Of Ice and Fire
"If the idea of a mix-up of Meliah Rage, Sepultura, Voodoo Cult and Face Down (without the electronics) floats your boat, then welcome aboard."