Monument Of Brimstone

Written by: PP on 21/06/2009 22:18:35

Israthoum are a black metal band. That's about the only sentence I can say about these guys without either sounding biased or like I haven't got a clue what I'm talking about (considering this is EW's territory). Although you should take this review with a grain of salt, I still maintain that I have a few valid points about the black metal scene and Israthoum's new record "Monument Of Brimstone" fits those points so perfectly that it'd be a shame not to bring them up in this review.

So here's the lowdown: almost all black metal sounds precisely the same, the only two aspects that change from band to band are the name and the lyrics. Occasionally the production as well but usually it's either a case of recorded-inside-a-shoe or pitch-perfect (which is the case here). Every band has the the same tremolo shredding, the typical black metal shrieking on top, and a constant double-bass pummeling dominating the drum department. To fortify my arguing position, lets take the band in question, Israthoum. How are they different from Darkness Ablaze, Hellsaw, Unlight, 1349 or most other bands in the genre? I certainly don't hear a difference. It's not that Israthoum's songs are bad by any means (that's why they are on Spikefarm), they just sound PRECISELY the same as so many other bands that I can think of. But before EW (or others) go berserk in the comments, let me just stress that exceptions do exist. Wolves In The Throne Room, Primordial, Abigail Williams and many others have thrown something extra into the genre to make it more interesting. That's just not the case on so many BM albums that I receive on my desk.

And now that I've vented out some of my frustrations for the genre, it's time to end this review with some final comments about "Monument Of Brimstone": It's a good album if you eat black metal for breakfast lunch and dinner and don't mind the unoriginality at all. There are lots of elements and different intricacies that'll keep you interested at least for a few listens. But at the same time Israthoum so god damn far away from the best bands in the genre that I'd feel bad giving them a grade any higher than this. And finally, the person who designed the artwork on the back should be fired, unless you shine a direct light source on it you will find it impossible to read the track titles.


Download: Fire Deliverance, Wearing You
For the fans of: Darkness Ablaze, Hellsaw, Unlight, 1349
Listen: Myspace

Release date 22.04.2009
Spikefarm Records / Universal

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