Label: Self released
Release date: December 12. 12012
I don’t have much experience with split EPs. Only in certain scenes do you really see the abundance of two or more bands come together to create a decent release. Even if they were in abundance, you don’t really hear about them until a much later date, unless they are the bigger named bands of course. Anyway, I got the chance to give this EP a listen, and I have to say I am quite impressed. Although 2012 is long gone (sorta), late releases of that year really give you that nostalgic feeling.
IZAH is a collaboration of sludge, noise, hardcore, and post-rock influences that are blended together to create a dark and melancholic mix of heavy riffing, chaotic drum work, and dynamic sound layering. Ever since their first release, a self-produced EP titled Finite Horizon/Crevice, IZAH has received raved fame in the underground scene. This attention has given them the chance to play alongside Baroness, Wolves in the Throne Room, Caspian, Animals As Leaders, and The Ocean.
IZAH contributes only one song to this EP but it is more than enough as it stretches across 11 minutes. This surprisingly long track contains an array of the previously stated influences and more. It seems that IZAH ignored time restrictions and decided to just make a song that explored the many elements that has made this band successful thus far. The noise and hardcore, and even some post-rock, influences are apparent at the start of “Antagonized”. You’ll suddenly feel immersed in a sort of sludgy, doom mix right after, almost with no warning. The atmosphere immediately changes and adapts to it’s surroundings. This track is all about change and evolution and this makes it one of it’s strongest features.
The somewhat subtle transitions could be used as time markers for splitting this song in “smaller tracks” if you really felt the need to do so. These said movements from one section to another add a great element of evolution and growth, which I think these guys take very seriously when it comes to their music and career.
The pace quickens after the doom section of the track, to something more sludgy and added rhythm, which is pretty catchy, to the drum/bass sections. The guitar does a little exploring as well, incorporating noise effects in sections. You’ll soon come across an instrumental section that comes off as a sort of daunting discovery. The guitar plays the key role of leading this moment with ethereal riffs and establishing the “calm” before the ending. The final moments are executed almost flawlessly with beautifully done clean vocals. Although it is pretty short and seems to end abruptly, it has that enlightening quality you do not really hear in regular albums/EPs.
The next two pieces of this split are composed by that of Fire Walk With Us. Although it is a totally different group of musicians altogether, they are able to create two tracks that meld together well with that of IZAH. This comes as a surprise, although you may hear of this occurring in other splits, I just don’t see how it could be easily pulled off as they make it to be.
Fire Walk With Us hail from Amsterdam, Netherlands, and play pure instrumental sludge, hardcore, post-rock, etc. goodness much like that of IZAH. They have supported and shared the stages with the likes of Earth, Deafhaven, A Storm Of Light, Zu, Dalek, …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, Junius, Amen Ra, and EF. This is another band that shows great experience and progression, even if they are only a few years old.
“Ascent” picks up where “Antagonized” ended. Think of some dark rock (something like Tool) mixed with some grungy influences and noise. As you can see from this description, as well as what was said above, you’ll find these guys to match up very well with IZAH in respects to sound. If you have never heard of the band until now, like myself, this is the perfect start. “Ascent” ends up being another one of those songs that reels you in even more.
”Bygones” adds on to this with an atmosphere closer to the doom quality and also ends up being the longer of the two submissions of the last half of the EP. The riffs are crushing but not in the sense that you might think. They have a quality of elegance to them, or it could be just the tone. Either way, I really ended up enjoying it and felt that 7 minutes of this wasn’t enough for me. There are bits of progression here and there but nothing too noticeable. As stated before, both bands are great with their transitions.
Being the first time I’ve heard either of these two bands, I’m quite impressed with this release, especially the synergy between both groups of musicians. The fusion of several genres may seem overbearing at first but after even one listen, you find that they don’t harshly connect with one another like some others I have heard. I believe both of these bands are planning on releasing some new works after this, and I’ll be waiting for said releases. If you’re into doom that takes a few turns and experiments with other genres, you’ll love this EP. I loved it so much I ended up buying the physical version of it. Give this a listen, and soon.
Rating – 9.3/10