Izthmi
The Arrows of Our Ways

Based out of Seattle, Washington, Izthmi are a 5 piece band describing themselves as progressive, atmospheric black metal.  After a pointless 3 minute and slightly irritatingly long intro the ball gets rolling with the 8+ minute “To Traipse Alone”.  I cannot remember when I saw the word traipse in a song.  The name of this song has me conjuring up images of someone with a picnic basket skipping along in some dimly lit forest.  Regardless the song has an awesome guitar sound and then the acoustic guitars come in and the vocals are pure black metal.  Very raspy and I will say quite harsh.  The song has some outstanding drum work, with excellent drum rolls thrown in and the guitar melodies are fantastic.  Very emotive song.  I do love the added deep vocals so the black metal vocals are not so overpowering.  The use of the death metal vocals just add more brutality and creativity to this young act.  The song gets into blasting elements and at about the 4.30 mark a very cool guitar solo.  I cannot stress enough how strong the guitar melodies are and atmospheric they most certainly are.  Awesome and monstrous double bass towards the end of this track too.

“The Listless World” starts out atmospheric and quite with the soft instrumentation before the powerful guitar comes forth and again with extraordinary melodies and more fiendish black metal vocals.  Definitely a lot going on with the drumming.  This fella has some serious talent.  More blasting with a nice growl over the blast.  The brutality slows down, for the listener to catch their breath.  The mid-paced elements take center stage with deeper vocals and then some guitar riffing that has quite a bit of traditional metal influence, which is a huge bonus for me.  The song picks up pace with the alternating range of vocal ranges.  Guitar soloing and picking is pretty fast and also methodical in the melodies.  Extremely well though out.  In the middle of the album is a track titled “Interlude”.  Again-I find this pointless.  Therefore along with the intro the album is 6 real songs.  I would have preferred either the scrapping of these 2 interludes with either one full song or a real instrumental with instruments and some atmosphere.

“Useless Is the Song of Man, from Throats Calloused by Name” is over 8 minutes and you could not have asked for a longer song title.  This song is brutal and ferocious, but again Izthmi incorporate some serious melody over the pounding drums and this again, quite emotive and the varied vocal attack is incredible.  This prevents monotony and halfway through the song, some more atmospheric moments with the vocals over the soft part-really adding some extra depth.  Yet again, another excellent song and the rest of the songs follow along the same path.

Izthmi are a very talented act and The Arrows of Our Ways is going to make my year end list, for sure.  I do encourage them to wipe out the pointless intros and interludes.  They just take up space.  The actual songs, on the other hand, are the polar opposite.  They are amazing.  I would say the description of progressive, atmospheric black metal is right on point.  A little death metal influence with the vocals during certain parts of the album add an additional element to Izthmi, which also adds to originality.  The song structures, melodies, instrumentation and production values are not something one would expect from a very new act.  I would expect this quality maybe on a second album, for sure, therefore Izthmi are surprisingly fresh and ahead of the extreme metal game, if you will.

This act has a bright future ahead of them.   The album cover appears to have a water color aspect to it and flows like a Monet.  I would imagine the figure in the middle, was traipsing a little too much and fell down and is taking an eternal nap.  I love the cover.  The use of light and colors kind of go along with the musical landscape Izthmi have conjured with The Arrows of Our Ways.  A stunning and killer debut album!

 

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
March 26th, 2020

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