Here’s yet another ripping band that’s been in the trenches since the early 90’s and is only now really reaching their full potential without any compromise or pretense. Instantly when I sampled this ones sound I knew in a fraction of a second that it WAS for me, there’s just something in this sound that combines the epic, occult, and memorable without any leaning toward melody or cinematic assistance, and catches you by throat with their continual rhythm changes within each song while never losing a beat. The chords are traditional buzzing black metal distortion swarms, but the distortion is controlled to a distinct level so that you can actually feel the rhythms, which switch between classic metal rhythms and full blown blackened chaos. Israthoum are really skilled in being unique and intense, maintaining depth through themselves and pulling from all their influences without giving those influences away through obvious imitation.
The overall vibe of Black Poison and Shared Wounds is that of grooving heavy fronted traditional black metal buzzing razor blade power chord rage of chaos and spiraling leads with sparse melodies that sound like a distorted metallic violent storm at sea. The percussion is a barrage of crashing and well-placed bass drum hits (for guys) as deliberate and potent as a steel toe roundhouse to the testes. One of the main standouts in my mind though, are the vocals going back and forth between shrieking or howling black metal and cleaner shouting/calling from behind the fog of night in a storm reminding me a lot of Drautran Throne of the Depths.
Aside from the main logistics covered, “Devil Bacchus” breaks up the album with it’s brutal crunching freight train “chugga chugga” thrash assaults, making “Devil Bacchus” a serious fucking bulldozer of an anthem that really takes you by surprise but still sounds as if it’s “in place” on the album with the others, some of which may subtly invoke some atmospheric and brief pagan rhythms, such as in “The Unraveling Traveler”, and “Burning the Sephiroth”.
The production is really solid, nothing lo-fi, but there’s no lessening of the ominous buzzing chaos as a result. I’m a lover of the raw and gruesome shrieking banshee shit just as much as the more polished stuff, so as long as it still kicks ass, it’s a worthy release, and Black Poison… definitely is destructive and menacing!!!!
also available from Hells Headbangers webstore currently and probably very soon in others such as a Deathgasm, Nuclear War Now,etc.