Ishtar is a new French black death metal band from Paris that has recently released its first work, the 6-track EP “From the Gates“. The group, that names Dark Fortress as its basic influence, was formed in 2010 by Helheim (vocals) and Rokdhan (guitars). The 6-piece line-up (including 2 singers) was complete in 2012 and with this formation they recorded their debut EP. Later, the second vocalist left them and Ishtar continue now as a 5-piece band. ”From the Gates” was self-released on August 17, 2013 and currently the band’s main concern is to share its music on stage as much as possible.
“From the Gates” is considered as an EP, but it lasts over 34 minutes, which is actually longer than many full-length albums. Practically it contains 5 long songs, since the opening track is a short atmospheric instrumental intro. Ishtar play black death metal, combining an old school aesthetic with a more modern approach in their sound. The band doesn’t use synths in its orchestrations, except for a few atmospheric passages, so it’s the guitars having the leading role in their songs. Their music is neither too melodic, nor too extreme and their rhythm moves from mid to fast tempo. Kryos does a great job in the drums, which have a very natural sound by the way, something rare for most new bands! Their guitars try to mix the power, precision and brutality of death metal, with the cold dark melodic sound of black metal. Both their singers use brutal vocals, moving again between death and black metal. I believe that the band has succeeded in creating a very interesting sound, something very important for a debut album. In my opinion though, they need more work in the compositions in order to create something that will fully exploit the atmosphere of their sound. They sing in English, but their lyrics are not available in the CD.
Ishtar present a very interesting debut EP for fans of black death metal. The band has a quite technical sound, with a very good production, while its music is powerful and melodic, cold and atmospheric at the same time. “From the Gates” is self-released in a digipak edition CD, limited to 150 hand-numbered copies. The amazing artwork is by Geoffrey “Exphrasis” Ernault. You can visit the band’s official profiles below and a get a first taste of their music.