Rating:
8.3
Ixion - To The Void
28 February 2011


01. Beyond The Skies
02. The Plague
03. Leaving
04. New Heaven
05. Fear Of The Hidden
06. Rebellion
07. Falling To Apathy
08. Funereal Dance
09. Soothing In Agony
10. Fade To Blue


To The Void marks the first proper full-length release from the doomed French duo, Ixion. They are described as "atmospheric doom" or "atmospheric funeral doom" or some such. This is a simplified, but fitting description. Given the choice of space imagery for the cover, why not go with the concept of a planet as a metaphor, no?

The core of their sound is basically slowed down doom with growled death vocals and crushing riffs that sound reminiscent of Ahab at times, with the kind of "stutter-step" delivery. Ixion wrap up the harsh package with some keyboard backgrounds to further the mood, as well as melodic piano over the top to perhaps soften it up a tad. They do well enough in this approach to make an interesting and good album, but why stop there?

So at the center you have the crushing frozen core, but rather than limit their approach to standard, tried and tr00, they've opted to surround said core with an ethereal atmosphere… lots of Mellow Moments™ involving keyboards and electronic elements. The singer shifts it up from cookie monster to clean, lightly sung or even whispered vocals to further the mood. These segments help the sound capture the same vibe as the imagery.

The songs are not particularly long for the genre, mostly clocking in around the six-minute mark. Unlike my recent review of Septic Mind's Nachalo, where both the Mellow Moment™ passages and the DOOOOOOOOOOOOM go on for extended periods, Ixion switch them up fairly regularly.

I guess there are lots of easy comparisons to perhaps give the uninitiated an idea of the overall sound (Mar De Grises, perhaps, for their masterful shifting of moods and styles), but to me this album almost sounded like a "What If?" game. What If Samael had, shortly after the release of Passage and the Exodus EP, opted to travel an Electro-doom path.

So a nice big "Merci Beaucoup*" goes to Collin for being too freaking lazy to review this and instead directing the band my way. I really enjoyed listening to the album, and it's one of those I'll continue to enjoy listening to long after this review is published and my "work" is done here. Thanks, Mon Ami.*



* Those familiar with my reviews and rambles should be aware I intentionally misspell any and all French words because I know it annoys Collin to no end. This release was so good that I temporarily backed away from butchering their language. For this review only.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Production: 9


Band profile: Ixion
Album: To The Void


 



Written on 10.05.2011 by
BitterCOld
BitterCOld has been officially reviewing albums for MetalStorm since 2009.
More reviews by BitterCOld ››



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MechanisT - 10.05.2011 at 22:47  
Yeah, agreed on the description. I'm in love with this record, and let's not forget, this is their FIRST album! Who knows? They may have it in them to deliver an earth-shattering masterpiece in the near future, I see that potential in them.
I love this album and, although not perfect, still would've given it a slightly higher rating. Nice review, though.
Troy Killjoy - 11.05.2011 at 01:05  
Electro-doom, that's exactly what I thought of when I heard this...and I didn't enjoy it. I wasn't skeptical though, especially since I love the synth-heavy Forlorad by Svart, but something about this release just came off very...light.
Marcel Hubregtse - 11.05.2011 at 01:08  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 11.05.2011 at 01:05

Electro-doom, that's exactly what I thought of when I heard this...and I didn't enjoy it. I wasn't skeptical though, especially since I love the synth-heavy Forlorad by Svart, but something about this release just came off very...light.


And yet you like Svart?
BitterCOld - 11.05.2011 at 01:17  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 11.05.2011 at 01:05

Electro-doom, that's exactly what I thought of when I heard this...and I didn't enjoy it. I wasn't skeptical though, especially since I love the synth-heavy Forlorad by Svart, but something about this release just came off very...light.


it's more melancholic and otherworldly rather than oppressive. nothing wrong with that. nice for a change of pace or certain moods.
Troy Killjoy - 11.05.2011 at 01:25  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 11.05.2011 at 01:08

Written by Troy Killjoy on 11.05.2011 at 01:05

Electro-doom, that's exactly what I thought of when I heard this...and I didn't enjoy it. I wasn't skeptical though, especially since I love the synth-heavy Forlorad by Svart, but something about this release just came off very...light.


And yet you like Svart?

I know, right? That was initially this album's biggest draw for me, was that it apparently had an electronic influence, and I feel like Draug was influenced in the same way during the writing process for Forlorad. But I think all in all there's something immensely different between the two albums, but I can't put my finger on it.

I suppose it's like BitterCOld said, it's not as oppressive and it's more melancholic, although I would describe Forlorad in the same way.
DerRozzengarten - 11.05.2011 at 05:55  
I pretty much liked this album and i have to admit it kind of reminded me of Forest Stream's first album vibe in terms of atmosphere, melancholy and gentleness, there's nothing soul-crushing in here, just pure melancholy! Well said Bitter
bloodwrage - 11.05.2011 at 06:19  
Some of the song titles and the album title reminds me of Dark Tranquility. Any reason for this?
Merchant of Doom - 11.05.2011 at 13:29  
I like the album quite a bit, but after the first demo, I was expecting a lot more from them. It's the same formula, although perfected, and everything is pretty much samey... can't tell one song from the other... good music for napping...
Justicelust - 11.05.2011 at 16:10  
Well reviewed. I like the mellow momments.
ß - 11.05.2011 at 23:27  
Nice review. I've gotten so behind in my music listening that it keeps building up, i've been meaning to check out Ixion for ages now. This review gives me more reason to finally check this release out.
Uldreth - 16.05.2011 at 23:25  
I absolutely love this album to bits. Best I've heard in 2011 so far. I never would'be thought it would grow so much on me but it did.
DorianGray - 14.06.2011 at 11:14  
Never heard of them before but after this review I bought the album.
And I have to say its one of my favorites of this year so far !

Great job on the review
MétalNoir - 18.06.2011 at 01:54  
"Those familiar with my reviews and rambles should be aware I intentionally misspell any and all French words because I know it annoys Collin to no end. This release was so good that I temporarily backed away from butchering their language. For this review only."

Ah ah merci pour l'effort! Good review, I'll have to check this out. From what I'm listenin to right now this sounds cool... for doom I mean

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