Izthmi – Leaving This World, Leaving It All Behind (Review)

Izthmi - Leaving This World, Leaving It All BehindThis is the second album from Izthmi, a black metal band from the US.

Izthmi play an atmospheric form of modern progressive black metal.

The songs are dark and densely populated with evocative grim textures and tastes. The band have a rough, brutal edge of aggressive blackened distortion that is probably more lethal than you might be expecting considering the beautiful album artwork and the use of words like progressive and atmospheric to describe their style. Coupled with scathing screams and the occasional monstrous death growl, Izthmi’s heavier aspect is a savage and nasty proposition.

But, there’s more than just aggression to the band. Amidst the gnarled harshness Izthmi develop mood and feeling through lighter sections and the use of build/release mechanics that are well-placed and effective. The band’s abrasive side is countered by this and by their use of post-black melody and progressive elements, both of which are fully entwined around the aggressive core of the music.

The above ultimately means that overall the material here is a compelling mixture of cutting blackened hatred and rich emotive depth. My main complaint, which is a common one, is that the short intro/interlude tracks are entirely superfluous, (with the exception of the wonderful piano piece To Know).

Leaving This World, Leaving It All Behind is a well-crafted and enjoyable work from a band that know their art intimately.

Highly recommended for all underground black metal connoisseurs.

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