Released: 2004, Earache
Well, goddamn if this isn't a musical enigma. For some reason, the name Ewigkeit rings a bell deep within the dusty metal annals in the furthest reaches of my brain. My only other experience with this headfuck of a band was on the double disc Burzum tribute album released by Unholy Records, where the band did a very organic, melodic take on the Count's (Grishnacht, of course) "Ea, Lord of the Depths", entitled "Ea 2000-Down For the Count". Beyond that, I believe this outfit (the sole brainchild of one Mr. Fog) may have started out as a Black Metal act themselves.
However, RADIO IXTLAN possesses very little to do with Black Metal as we know it. Instead, Mr. Fog has decided to take us into a Heavy Metal mindtrip, drawing elements and influences from everything, including atmospheric metal, progressive rock, and industrial. The end result is not so much a "genre defining work" as it is a genre DEFYING one, as RADIO IXTLAN takes all you thought you knew about extreme metal and twists it until it is barely recognizible.
Production-wise, things are very murky and unclear. Although I'm pretty positive that this is probably done on purpose, I can't help but think that the overall effect might actually be more effective if things were a little more polished. Either way, there are some really intriguing musical experiments going on here. There are epic, melodic guitar passages and soaring vocal harmonies, yet all the while there is a dark and sinister framework surrounding the whole affair.
RADIO IXTLAN is a challenging and perplexing affair, that's for sure. However, it is also one worth delving into. I, for one, could not wrap my head around this record the first couple times I heard it. It wasn't until I laid down with headphones that the intricacies and nucances of what was going on truly hit me. It was then where I truly found out where this record was coming from.
While this certainly won't appeal to everyone, fans of forward thinking extreme metal, such as the magnificent Solefald and Sigh, should more than likely eat this up. I'd venture to say that open minded fans of bands as diverse as Opeth, Rammstein, Dodheimsgard, Arcturus, and Pink Floyd might find something to love here on RADIO IXTLAN. I know I did.--mg