Sunday, 21 June 2015

Izah - Sistere


Tracklist:

1. Indefinite Instinct
2. Duality
3. Finite Horizon
4. Sistere

Tilburg in The Netherlands is well known for it's hosting of Roadburn Festival and Neurotic Deathfest, so it should come as no surprise that the city also has its own booming extreme metal scene. One band that has risen out of it this year is Izah. After forming in 2006 and following the release of their debut EP in 2008 and a split with Fire Walk With Us four years later, Izah have finally released their debut full-length via Nordvis Produktion. I've listened to this record a couple of times prior to writing this review and it's pretty stunning. Izah have obviously hit Roadburn a few times!

Izah is all about the slow build. No track here is under ten minutes in length and Indefinite Instinct opens Sistere with a winding and swirling wall of noise. What follows it is a mixture of jazz, clean guitar and post-metal/sludge growls. Their sound is more controlled than the sound of Neurosis for me and I hear hints of Light Bearer in here too. The full band sections are interspersed with ambience and quite melodramas. The spoken-word that fills the mid-section is emotive and rousing, while Izah rely more on their instruments and less on the vocals as a focal point within their music. With the help of subtle clean singing and synths, Izah adds for more layers to their sound and it becomes more encompassing. Duality may share its name with a Slipknot song, but that’s where any similarities between the two end. Its pointless comparing the two for obvious reasons. Duality follows the path trodden by Sistere’s opener and adds more melody and atmosphere to it. The hooks created by that lead riff three-minutes in is joyful to hear. It’s also where the band’s sludge really comes into its own. They slow the pace right down with the use of some huge riffs and what follows is eerily calming, for a short time anyway. The latter half of the song starts to descent into chaos with samples and angular noise ringing out mid-way through. It’s stark and it reminds you that the atrocities that we face on a daily basis are very real. Things get steadily heavier as Sistere goes on. Finite Horizon first appeared on Izah’s debut EP in 2008 and has been re-worked here. This is a massive slab of doom/death that comes as a bit of a shock after the conclusion of Duality. That being said, it is still full of impressive ambience that sits high in the mix. The previous three songs are really just a taste of what Izah bring with their closing title-track. Making up over thirty-minutes of this bewildering album, this is bound to test every emotion you have. The lead guitar that has washed over the record continues to make itself heard, providing a magical soundstage in the process. At times the song descends into driving instrumental black metal territory and even contains small similarities to Deafheaven. Idaho take a break from their darker selves with an interlude-like section of haunting samples and electronics. The brass section that comes later in Sistere is a really nice touch and shines more light on their music. It’s final descent into feedback-let mayhem is like the last breaths of a dying behemoth. Izah have raised the bar very high in extreme metal terms with Sistere and boy is it good. Could probably end up being a lot of people’s album of the year.

You can stream and purchase Sistere in all formats here:-



Izah Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/IZAHband
Nordvis Produktion Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/nordvis

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