If I could rate this CD 11 or higher, I would: this is heavenly! Breathtaking!!! The velvet voice of Darkwell (only polished and noticeably improved) does its finest and beats Edenbridge, Lunatica, Visions of Atlantis and many others of the kind. Moreover, although it is this band´s debut full-length album, it can immediately proudly join the line of already well-established gothic orchestras with experience, such as Epica and Lacuna Coil.
Atmospheric keyboard melodies smoothly mended into classical orchestral parts, along with very touching and powerful vocals make a very distinct Atargatis trademark sound, which cannot be confused with any other band, as it often happens in the metal “beauty & the beast” genre.
The album is filled with sensuality and spirituality; those vibes are almost magical, so that each song makes me shiver! I could not move onto the next track without having to put the previous one on repeat several times. Atargatis is pure melodic/gothic metal quality. It is one of those records, where the vocals are just as a powerful instrument, as all others involved and Stephanie Luzie does it with solid fluency and variety: it is truly a magnificent work.
There are very little male vocals, which makes the album just gentler and finer, although on the tracks with male accompaniment (“Through the Mists” and “Angels Crying”) it adds more depth, reinforcing the lyrics, painting a slightly darker image of the storyline...
The definite highlights of the “Wasteland” are tracks 5 (“Cradle of Fern”), 7 (“4Giving”) and 10 (“Angels Crying”), although the entire album is so consistent and balanced, there is nothing negative to say about any of the songs!
The 7th track, “4Giving” is the shortest, but my favorite on the album: it is just piercing you through with its longing feeling for the other person, despair, hope, tenderness, and strength - all at the same time! Overwhelming! It starts very gently and builds up into an epical dramatic cut-off ending, when you least expect. Stunning dramatic piece and indeed very moving and emotional!