Anthony Abbatangelo –Bass
Mrudul Kamble –Drums
Adam Korchok –Guitars
Isabelle Tazbir –Vocals & Lyrics
2. Crawl out of Hell
3. Illusion of Humanity
4. Scattering Garden
Ischemic are a black/death/doom metal band from Canada, who formed in 2012, and who will be self-releasing their latest full length album, also called ‘Ischemic’ on 2nd of April, 2021. The experienced band members have played in other acts, such as Saprophyte, Serene Molestation, and Blastomycosis, and the band have shared the stage with Volur, Greber, Woe, and Beyond Creation. They have also played in the 2014 and 2019 Briefcase Fest in Toronto, and the 2017 London DeathFest.
So I review Ischemic again! Have they matured since their last album, released three years ago? In a word, yes. At least a little bit, anyway. It’s interesting the way they use somewhat mild distortion in places, especially when you consider the extreme genres they play in. However, the contrasting and more typical filthier guitars you get in the more dramatic moments, add even more contrasts that were present in their ’Stagnation and Woe’. Even more interesting are the ever so slightly overdriven guitars on the epic final track that lasts over 22 minutes. The almost clean chord progressions there demonstrate all kinds of moods – sadness, gloom, eeriness, even a dark from of beauty. It’s quite fascinating, yet it’s far from overcomplicated – just how ambient music should be. Again, you get more contrasts with the song; you get doomy ideas that could come off a Candlemass album.
The preceding tracks are fairly lengthy, too, lasting roughly six and a half minutes, eleven and a a half minutes and eleven minutes. This is adventurous stuff, but like in the last album, it could do with some more catchiness in places. Ischemic are more about creating a certain atmosphere, whether that be chaos, misery or otherworldliness. Again, the riffs that do appear tend to be highly chromatic, so the band haven’t changed their sound too much. But if a concept works, why change it, right? What doesn’t work so much, are the unnecessary repetitions of more basic themes that don’t really go anywhere for extended periods of time. I get the group are going for a more minimalist approach at times, but two chord minimalism for example, rarely works. Ischemic don’t abuse such ideas or similar ones to the point of annoyance, but they do seem to be lacking in taste, occasionally.
Having said that, if you’re a little more patient and openminded than me, you may perceive this release to be like a blossoming flower that just needs to take its time to fully open. I’m sure being compared to a flower will offend the group, so let’s make up a new plant just for them – the death flower. :O There is clearly intelligence in the music, and in particular the structures. Again, they may be a bit dull every now and then, but you can’t deny the usages of tension and release are mostly judged very well. This LP can be compared to an uncut story. The same can rarely be said for most black or death metal. Doom metal can be more epic, but the Isch are more daring than most. The instrumental performances are far from virtuosic, so if you’re looking for a Necrophagist experience, you may want to look elsewhere. Again recommended!