Itheist – Itheist

Rating: 3.5/5
Distributor/label URL: Self-Released
Released: 2019
Buy Album: https://itheist.bandcamp.com/album/itheist
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/ItheistBand

Band Line-up:

D.C. – Music
K.N. – Vocals

Tracklisting:

1. Outcast
2. Mighty Father of Rebellion
3. Guardian of Baphomet
4. Belial Unbound
5. Horned One
6. Infernal Insurrection
7. Neter Amon
8. Mankind in Extremis
9. Suffering in Existence

Review:

Itheist are an extreme metal band from the UK that has roots traceable as far back as 2004. They were started by multi-instrumentalist Dan Couch along with singer and lyricist Kane Nelson. They completed a full length album in 2011, and in 2014 an EP of theirs was released by U.S. label, Eihwaz Recordings. With a new self-titled, self-released full length album ready to see the light of day, this duo are about to begin a new phase of their careers. They are for fans of Death, Carcass, Dissection, etc.

For a death/black metal band, the harmonic writing is surprisingly clever, here. You don’t just get brutal riffs with these guys, you frequently get ideas of proggish/neo classical complexity, especially in the song ‘Guardian of Baphomet’. Yngwie Malmsteen springs to mind, for a brief period. The way the guitars and bass work together in Itheist is extremely satisfying. Hearing the powerful low end merge with the higher up, well designed dissonances that are far more complex than mere power chords, is a two in one experience. A treat that impressively isn’t all over the place and random sounding.

Unfortunately however, sophistication seems to have taken the place of catchiness too much. There are no truly classic riffs in the album that are simple and fun. There isn’t much variety either, as all songs are in a rather similar style. That’s not as much a problem as it could have been as they have many details in them, giving each a long lifespan. Doomy slow tempos that contrast with often unexpected blast beats only contribute to the madness, but at first at least, the album is still a bit of a samey blur.

To sum up, this is good metal but you will need to put in some work to fully appreciate it. That’s no bad thing, just don’t expect to love it immediately and you shouldn’t be disappointed if you don’t. Give it a chance. Again, the lack of variety is a problem, especially as the instruments and growled vocals have the same tone almost from start to finish, but for better or for worse that is not unusual in this form of music. Finally, this album is recommended listing for bass players in particular; it shows you don’t have to mimic the guitars all the time! The album will be appreciated by all extreme metal fans, I’m sure.

Review by Simon Wiedemann
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