The debut album from this Italian duo black metal band is out. Streben begun in 2007 with Cristina Hagalaz who is the mastermind of this band since she composes all music and lyrics, sings and plays bass and keyboards. The other member is Valker (also on Cold Empire) who plays the guitars. On 2008 they released the demo “… of Melancholic Elegies and Wanderlust” and on the end of 2009 Naturmacht released their first full-length “Wild Enchanted Gardens”.
The first thing I want to comment is the really beautiful artwork of this album that fits perfectly with the title and concept of this work. The music now is much more brutal than what the artwork implies! After the calm acoustic intro with birds singing sounds and female spoken words, the band enters with very raw black metal and an underground production. The vocals are very extreme, something you wouldn’t expect judging by Cristina’s aetherial appearance. Anyway her black metal screams are very distinctive and they match with the raw guitar sound of Streben. The element of contradiction is also very dominant in their music, where tranquil acoustic dreamlike passages and nature sounds are followed by raw black metal outbursts. There are only 6 songs in the album that lasts for almost 38 minutes. The lyrics are all in English and deal with the effort to break the bonds of reality and seek freedom in other dimensions…
The overall result is good and the band makes a very ambitious effort. There are many good parts in their songs, but there are also some that need improvement. I think they are better in the acoustic parts and they need more work in the marriage of melodic synths in their black metal parts. The songs are mainly in mid tempo creating a melancholic nostalgic atmosphere. The production is ok, but I expect it to be better in future efforts. For a debut album it’s more than good and the beautiful artwork, their aesthetic view and lyrical concept gives them more credits in my eyes. You can check them in their myspace page for your own verdict.
Streben @ Myspace
Originally published on HeavyMetalCosmos