Please tell us about the history of your band and its members.
Ishtar was born in 2010 when Helheim (vocals) decided to create his own Black / Death band. Then Rokdhan joined the band as guitarist and main composer and Celtic was recruited as second singer in order to have more powerful growls. Then, the rest of the crew joined Ishtar in early 2012: Kryos on drums, Witart on bass and Gott on guitars.
All of the members come from the local scene of Paris and have already played in other bands such as Neptrecus, Septentrion or Cave Growl.
Note that Celtic left the band for personal reasons this summer but we decided not to replace him because Witart is now in charge of the backing vocals and we are quite satisfied of the result.

How would you describe your style? Which bands influenced your music? 
In the beginning, the goal for Helheim was to create a music that gathers the violence of death metal and the hate of black metal. This vision is totally shared by all the current members and we could describe our music as a cold Black / Death metal as powerful as melodic, that mixes blast passages with darker atmospheres.
We are all influenced by tons of bands but our main reference is Dark Fortress. We could also cite Dissection and Shining. However, we create our own music and I doubt that you will bring out an influence more than another.

Why should a metalhead buy your demos/albums?
We take the composing part very seriously and we put a lot of energy in it. The main strenght of the band is that we work all together to create the music we like and we take all the time we need to write our songs until being fully satisfied. We don't hesitate to throw a riff or even a song if we think the quality isn't good enough.
That is why all metalheads should at least listen to our stuff online and if they like it, we suggest them to invest 7€ to get the CD and the awesome artwork from Geoffrey Ernault.

What have you released so far and how were your releases received by the public/media? 
From the Gates is our first six track EP. We have learned several things about the recording process that could have been improved with more experience and means, but we are proud of what we did and the feedback we've had from the public is positive.
The reviews are quite good too, which shows that our work is recognized and encourages us to do even better for the next release.

Do you play live as well? How's your live activity so far?
We have done two shows so far and we really enjoyed them because playing live is the best way for us to fully express the powerful coldness of our music.
We can even say that it is one of our priorities because Ishtar is anything but a studio project. We want to practice and share our music, that's why we hope that more shows will follow shortly.

What should labels/zines/promoters know about your band? Why should they be interested in it?
For all the reasons listed above, they should be interested to work with us and to promote our music.
We will maybe look for a label to deliver or even produce our future release, so feel free to contact us if you like what we've done so far and are eager to work with us. We are also pleased to be contacted by promoters or any kind of zines so we encourage them to get in touch with us.

What plans do you have for the near future as a band?
The main thing is to keep on being sincere and play the music we like. We also need to find time to keep the band alive and perform live if we have the chance.
The writing of the future release is ongoing with two songs that are fully composed and others that should follow soon. For the time being, inspiration isn't a problem for Ishtar so we hope that you will hear from us again sooner than expected.

Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?
By now, the only way to get our CD is to contact us directly. You can also listen to some songs online for free.

January 2014