Nima : If we include the first years when the band name was spelled as Isegrim, this Dutch quartet is celebrating its twentieth anniversary this years! Since 2002 the band has delivered four strong LPs and is justly grown to an international success. This band has never been that much about originality or innovation, but always focused on strong songwriting and technical, intense yet melodic thrash and death metal.
From the third album, ’Code of Consequences’ (2011), these lady and gentlemen in my opinion found their sound and style, and haven’t deviated much from that ever since. The new album, ‘The Ferryman’s End’, which will be unleashed later this month, is also a logical step in the band’s career, and a logical successor of its predecessor. I was quite pleased with ‘Congress Of The Insane’ and nominated that record as the band’s most complete work. Well, with this fifth record the lady and gentlemen have again outdone themselves on all fronts.
Lyrically ‘The Ferryman’s End’ is a conceptual album, dealing with the mind and thoughts of an insane murderer waiting for his execution. And that grimness and aggression has also been captured and represented well musically. In comparison with the last album ‘The Ferryman’s End’ is a bit more up-tempo in general. The modern thrash/death metal sounds even more aggressive, even more brutal and, as mentioned, also darker. That however does not mean that the album is stuck on “blast mode”. Quite the opposite, there is no lack of melody nor diversity here whatsoever, and the speedy thrashers are continuously changed with mid-tempo, and slower and dragging heavy death metal passages. But whether they are playing fast or slow, the music is catchy at all times. Just listen to tracks such as ‘Endless Desire’, ‘The Evil Within’, ‘Absolute Necessity’ or the Morbid Angel-like ‘Insanity Is Freedom’, and you’ll know what I mean.
On instrumental, vocal and songwriting matters the band has of course proved itself many times, and also on this record they leave no room for discussion. Thanks to the great production by Jörg Uken (Soundlodge Studio – God Dethroned and Dew-Scented a.o.) the whole comes into its own well, and the album simply blasts. The beautiful cover artwork by Eliran Kantor (Testament, Iced Earth, Striker, Soulfly a.o.) completes the picture, and all added up ‘The Ferryman’s End’ is another huge step forward for Izegrim. Fans of the previous works and fans of heavy, contemporary thrash and death metal can purchase this album without a doubt.