RIP Astarte

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Following on a previously ongoing struggle with leukemia, it was reported that Maria “Tristessa” Kolokouri, founder and frontwoman of the Hellenic black metal band Astarte, had passed away on Saturday 9th, 2014.

 

Credited by friends and loved ones for her courage in pursuing black metal, at a time when the Greek metal scene was considered to have been mostly unreceptive to extreme music let alone female metal heads; Maria went on to help create the band Astarte, with former Lloth bandmate Kinthia on vocals for debut album ‘Doomed Dark Years’. The record, though musically closer to the  second wave Norwegian sound with its frosty atmosphere and shrill, high pitched notes, showed its roots in Greek paganism and mythology, which became a strong, recurring theme for Maria’s lyrics.

 

Despite Astarte’s lack of recognition outside of Greece, Maria eventually formed collaborations from other musicians in the international metal scene for later releases. Aside from from her peers in the Greek extreme metal scene, guest musicians had also included Angela Gossow (formerly of Arch Enemy), Attila Csihar (present Mayhem) and most famously, Shagrath of Dimmu Borgir fame.

 

Maria was 37 years old at her time of death, leaving behind her husband, Nicholas Sic Maiis (of the band Insected) and their small son, Antonios.

 

Me(n)tal-Meltdown wish to offer deep condolences to Maria’s family and friends for their loss, as well as the loss of Astarte.

 

 

 

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Hour of 13 release new song for friend, Jason McCash

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On Saturday, April 6th 2014, it was officially announced that Jason McCash, bassist for The Gates of Slumber, had unexpectedly passed away. Though the group had already disbanded in 2013, his death can be assumed to have marked the decided end of their career, owing to McCash’s close friendship with former frontman and vocalist Karl Simon.

 

Following on from the news, which has shaken various people within the doom metal community such as Hampshire trio Witchsorrow and esteemed writer and PR person Kim Kelly, the band Hour of 13 temporarily returned with a new song to mark Jason’s passing.

 

Though reverted to its roots as a one-man band, as founder Chad Davis performed all instruments and lyrics by himself, Hour of 13 released the song, ‘Upon Black Wings We Die’, in memory of their deceased friend and fellow musician.

 

However, in response to youtube questions regarding the possible resurrection of Hour of 13, Davis had confirmed that this is the final piece of music from his project.

 

A month in semi-review

In the News

We may be busy at Casa de Me(n)tal Meltdown, but we want you to know that we don’t neglect the (metal) news. Unless you’ve read it before, then we want you to know we don’t neglect yesterday’s news, too.

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End of an era – Jeff Hanneman dies

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On Thursday May 2nd, 2013, Slayer had released the unfortunate news via their official Twitter and Facebook pages that their guitarist and songwriter Jeff Hanneman had passed away.

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Et tu, Slayer?

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In a turn of events that bears an eerily resemblance to the ongoing dispute between Black Sabbath and original drummer Bill Ward, it has been recently announced that esteemed, long-term musician Dave Lombardo was replaced by his bandmates in Slayer for their previous Australian shows.
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New Carcass album in the works – about time?

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Seventeen years since their last LP, the tentatively named ‘Swansong‘, Liverpudlian act Carcass have declared that they are currently at work on a new record. Continue reading

Randy Blythe to attend Czech court date in 2013

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Following on from his bail from Czech prison this past summer, Lamb Of God’s frontman Randy Blythe still faces charges for manslaughter in 2010; Blythe had pushed a fan off of a high platform stage during the band’s performance in Prague, which had led to the young man’s death from head injuries after a month. Continue reading