I spent last evening in Tacoma witnessing a momentous event in the life of a friend and then celebrating it with her and her family. Had a blast, but between that and day-job shit, I didn’t make much headway on reviews I’ve been trying to write. I did have time to latch on to a few new songs that struck a chord, and they’re in this post. Also, on the way out of Tacoma back to Seattle, I saw something that sent me on a nostalgia trip — more on that at the end of this post. But first, I bring you Hell.
I latched onto this band (or they latched on to me) almost entirely as a result of that eye-catching album cover you see above. It’s for their second full-length release, Black Poison and Shared Wounds, which is out now on Daemon Worship Productions (the same label/distro that’s handling the U.S. release of the new album by Iceland’s Svartidauði that I wrote about two days ago.
Israthoum was originally created in Portugal during the early 90’s, but its members relocated to The Netherlands around 1998. The three current members are, shall we say, devoted followers of The Left Hand Path. All three of them also interchangeably play bass and guitars on the album (one of them also plays the drums), and all three share vocal duties.
Daemon Worship have put two songs from the album on SoundCloud — “The Unravelling Traveller” and “The Presence, The Baying”. The music is scathing — definitely not for the faint of heart. But beneath the surface veil of blasting and rending there lurks an almost avant-garde layer of complexity that reminded me in some ways of Deathspell Omega, and I found the melodies crouching in the dark corners of my head long after the music stopped.