All right, and beware: this stuff is pretty old, going for the original writings as well as the recordings. So don’t expect to hear something in the vein of the recent trends, okay…
Actually, this Dutch band wrote its first songs during the first half of the nineties, and this material was originally recorded in 1997 on analogue 24-track equipment, and released in 2001 on vinyl via Damnation Records, if I’m not mistaken. And now it gets re-released, with slightly improved artwork, by Heidens Hart Records and New Era Productions on LP, CD and tape.
Some additional info to start with: the material was recorded in very early spring 1997 at the Beaufort Recording Studio with Han Swagerman, whom you might know from his assistance with e.g. The Gathering, Phlebotomized, Sear Bliss or Callenish Circle. It was done by lyricist / vocalist Manegarm, guitarist / music composer Satyrus (he drew the rough basics for the cover painting, by the way), drummer Martyr, guitar player Inferno, and bassist The Emperor, who took care some visual artwork too.
Darkened Destiny opens with the intro I Remember, which is, just like the outro Walt Monster End, taken from the House By The Cemetary soundtrack (composed by Romano Rizzati), and therefor dedicated to what the band calls ‘the Godfather of Horror’, Lucio Fulci. He surely is one of the most notorious masters of gore for sure, with motion pictures as grandiose as they are ridiculous (but where’s the border in between both these facts?), but since Concreteweb.be aren’t a site reviewing movies, but sonic recordings, I will return to Tartaros.
What this band brought / brings (and do not compare them to the fabulous Norwegian act with the very same name!) is quite predictable. But once again, ‘predictable’ does not, necessarily, mean something negative. But seen the cover artwork, the members’ pictures (corpse-painted beauties they are), the titles of both the album and the individual tracks, I was somewhat expecting stuff in the vein of the Last Episode-trend, being quite ‘huge’ back then. And indeed it is. But at the other hand, I have to admit that I have always been quite charmed by bands / projects like Aeba, Eminenz, Dunkelgrafen, Mystic Circle (though they became better afterwards for sure), Forsth, Atanatos and many more.
And indeed it is within this specific sub-genre that one can place this Dutch act. The material, in essence, is quite melodious and, at the same time, rhythmic in execution, with quite some variation in tempo and structure – though the main speed isn’t that fast at all, which is quite remarkable. This kind of stuff often comes with fast-paced rhythms and brutally-erupting tempos, but Tartaros succeed to have their output focused on massiveness rather than blasting explosions of sonic dissonance.
As said before, one cannot expect a renewing, refreshing interpretation of (occult) Black Metal. But that is not a must in case the quality is above average. I will not say that Tartaros were the best thing at the end on the nineties, because they were not. But at the same time, there was so much bullshit too back then, and therefore this album could have been considered at least appreciable. I do not know whether this re-release will infect your brain, but I suggest to give it a try, because this material is quite enjoyable. You might like it, you know…