ATARGATIS – Wasteland

ATARGATIS - Wasteland


Massacre Records
Release date: March 24, 2006

User Review
10/10 (1 vote)

According to the dusty old history books, Atargatis was a Syrian deity who symbolized fertility and a oneness with nature.

Atargatis is also the name of a German Gothic Metal band, who along with their debut album entitled Wasteland, are the subject of today’s review. Wasteland is the first full-length release from Atargatis, who also have a couple of EPs on their resume. Atargatis features a couple of “dark” names that may be familiar to fans of Gothic Metal: crimson-haired Stephanie Luzie of Darkwell handles most of the singing, with Darkseed singer Stefan Hertrich popping up here and there as a special guest vocalist.

Wasteland has a concept behind it, one of “being, decay and ascending, integrated in the cycle of everlasting life,” according to the band’s Web site. Toss in some human suffering too, because we deserve it for being so mean to Mother Nature. Death isn’t a big deal, though (not on this album, at least), because you’ll come back as something else once your bones have turned to dust; Circle Of Life, which not coincidentally, also serves as the title of one of this album’s songs.

Subject matter aside, Wasteland isn’t a downbeat and depressing album, like many other Gothic Metal releases, as it tries more for mood, atmosphere, and a generally positive attitude over the course of its 11 tracks. At this it’s fairly good, thanks to the operatic-style vocals of Luzie (who thankfully doesn’t overdo it; you can drink wine while listening to Wasteland) and the lush backing music, which often features Classical instrumentation skillfully intertwined with some good riffs and solid drumming.

Stefen Hetrich isn’t featured a lot on this album, but he does add some gruff-sounding vocals to a few of the songs, making them stand out a little bit. Big choir-style backing vocals are used on a handful of songs, most notably “My Solace,” giving them an epic feel.

But outside of that song, and maybe “Selina, Widow Of The Moon,” much of Wasteland feels like one long song, with Luzie pleasantly “tra-la-la”-ing away, while well-played and produced Gothic Metal wafts gently in the background. A good guitar part here and a big choral passage there do make you sit up and take notice from time to time, though. Wasteland probably could have benefited from a few more catchy riffs and varied vocal parts to make its eight “real” songs (“Desert” and “Eden” are short atmospheric intros and outros, respectively, and “4giving” basically serves as a one-minute intro to “My Solace”) stand out more and have an identity of their own.

Despite its flaws, Wasteland is an album worth listening to for fans of Gothic Metal. Atargatis is mostly successful on this release, giving aficionados of this style of music something to enjoy, in this life and maybe in the next.


  • Gary McLean

    Gary was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of the small Ontario, Canada town of Sault Ste. Marie, right on the border of Michigan, USA. When it comes to Metal and Hard Rock, Gary likes quite a few different bands, from stalwarts like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, to newer, hard-hitting groups such as Primal Fear, Hammerfall, and Paragon. Other favorites include the likes of Nightwish, Running Wild, Therion, Accept, Stratovarius, Dream Evil, Helloween, Rammstein, Dirty Looks, Crimson Glory, Tristania, and Gamma Ray. He thinks AC/DC deserves a paragraph all their own though.

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