Iblis is an avant-garde quartet from Poland, but as this title avant-garde includes a lot of things (they’ve been called progressive, death n roll and even Nuklear Rock n Roll, whatever that means) I hereby declare them to be a regressive Black Metal band with progressive parts.
The band is solid (although weird) and parts of the songs resemble large chunks of phrases from bands like Enslaved or in the more rapid parts Marduk... if they were a comedy group. I don’t know what they are into, but titles like Poison in you Food and Don’t Eat My Legs tend to be more funny than evil, and maybe that it was the intention. However strange the sense of humour.
The CD Menthell comprises of only 7 tracks, clocking at 31 minutes, and, given the band are an unknown name in the worldwide scenario their music may not appeal to headbangers of all persuasions. That said, production-wise the CD is impeccably good.
First song White Claudia, features fast-driven drums and strange vocals, and by strange I mean it. Sometimes vocalist Zgred screams and moans like he’s been tortured in a chamber, and it’s impossible to know if this is intentionally linked to the “lyrical” content or are just rumblings. Changes of tempo occur, but as odd as it may seem, it’s not pointless. They don’t overly get in the way and keep the base of black metal with tentative rock n roll parts throughout the whole album.
12 Sycamores starts with a tapping bass before goes back again to rapid parts. This song is one of the highlights of the album and makes it for a good working track.
Strangely, the title track, Menthell, fails miserably in keep the listener’s attention, and it’s definitely a filler.
Poison in you Food brings the attention over again and the vocal parts are even cantabile; a crazy song for sure. The riffs are definitely black metal in nature, and if you’re not a radical metalhead, this song will make your week happier.
Don’t Eat my Legs sees the band more successful in their attempt to make a real avant garde opus, with lots of passages, bass tappings, groove feeling, and for the first time the black metal is more like accessory than a basilar part in the song. It’s the longest and most experimental tune, and it’s solid as hell.
Origin is more like a thrash metal opus masked as death metal, but like the track Menthell it’s weird beyond comprehension and brings nothing really impressive.
To end this relatively short work, another variation; this time the Carcass-esque theme Bill Skins Fifth, which over again is not the highlight of Iblis, but at least end the album in an honourable manner.
Menthell is not a bad CD. It’s not pointless either (exceptions made to aforementioned two tracks). It’s a solid and kinda original release, but it will only appeal to a certain niche of the metal aficionados. Myself included.
PS: The album is available for free listening at Death To Music website, following the official link: http://www.deathtomusic.com/iblis.htm
Menthell is out now on DTM Productions