Released: 2015, Phsychic Violence Reocrds
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Although at first glance US project Il’Ithil has an orthodox mystery about it, with very little online presence, scourge the web a little longer and you’ll discover this act is courtesy of Blake Green, known for his work with Wolverspent and the moody, atmosphere project Aelter, who’s album IV: Love Eternal I reviewed and which I was highly disappointed by. It is with a melancholic delight then, that this unknown diamond of a band mysteriously lights up in the dark night sky of the unpredictable USBM scene and offers this LP.
Although only two tracks long, with “Winter” and “Through the Cold Grey Sky”, they blend into each other, contrast and complement one another in a progressive fashion, whilst still delivering the same sly formula. Both begin like lo-fi soundtracks, with the momentous rouse of drums and choir keys, before booming into black metal fuzz, thick with atmosphere and melodies coated over each other like layers of snow. Ethereal keyboard touches are primitive here, yet this adds to their sentimentality in regards to the true 90s black metal ethics of raw energy and expression.
Vocals never take the forefront on this LP. Rather than means of lyrical delivery, voices are used are stirrings, howls, gasps of emotions, all which shadow the flurry of instrumentation that lies so much more saliently in the mix. Demon growls, and high female calls both play out the range of textures and intensities that are explored, with the free organic song writing style which allows transition from beat to beat and riff to riff to feel extra effortless. For each romantic touch, there is an injection of attitude and malice, and one which is meant to be felt very seriously.
As much of wandering affair this is (perfect to get lost in the woods too), each section is as instantaneous as the last, making this a go-to LP for dark, intense atmospheric music. The lo-fi boom of the production may mean this a record for underground appreciators more than just a passing fan of BM, but far away from the spiralling despondency of some American DSBM cousins, this could be an open gateway to a new world of darkness for some listeners.
Review by Jarod Lawley