Aug 112014

(Andy Synn wrote this remembrance of Tristessa, of the Greek metal band Astarte.)

Sad news my friends. Yesterday I learned that Astarte frontwoman Tristessa (aka Maria Kolokouri) passed away due to complications suffered while fighting off Leukaemia. Not only was her wonderful life tragically cut short, but she also leaves behind a husband and young son… and I cannot begin to imagine what they must be going through. My heart goes out to them for their loss.

I’d been following Maria’s battle via the Astarte Facebook page, and her husband’s occasional updates, and had been hopeful she would be able to pull through, because I have been a huge fan of hers (and of Astarte) for a long time now. Indeed  we’re coming up on the 50th edition of The Synn Report (not even counting special editions) and it was Astarte who I chose to cover for the very first edition, way back in January 2011.

Here’s how I described them back then:

With a consistently changing line-up, the primarily female band Astarte began life as a purely Black Metal band, albeit one with an ear for a distinctive and dark melody.

“Over the years they have metamorphosed into a more Black/Death hybrid of a band, shedding and recruiting numerous different members along the way, but each time progressing and improving upon their own sound. They have in the past ten years gained a cult following of their own, whilst also gaining the patronage and friendship of some of the larger leading lights of the international Black and Death metal scenes. Guest slots from members of Rotting ChristDimmu BorgirGod DethronedArch Enemy and Mayhem have all served to cement them as a band to be taken seriously on the world stage, although their overall lack of exposure (coupled with their inconsistent line-up issues) has yet to provide them with that all-important break-out opportunity.

In hindsight I think it holds up pretty well. So, in tribute to Tristessa, I’ve asked Islander to reprint the original Synn Report below, in the hope that more people will be drawn in to appreciate the scintillating blackened art of Astarte. Continue reading »