Ysengrin - _To Endotaton_
(I, Voidhanger Records, 2012)
by: Chaim Drishner (7.5 out of 10)
I, Voidhanger is definitely one of the rising forces in today's underground music; a label that is time and again offering quality releases music-wise, as well as being aesthetically conscious, offering the best possible value in terms of final product's artwork, packaging and all other aspects of production, sonic or otherwise. Ysengrin's third full-length effort is by no means an exception.

Ysengrin, despite hailing from France, have adopted -- at least on _To Endotaton_ -- a very Italian sound; a dark, muddy, basic approach to metal, where the fundamentals of heavy metal, death, doom and black metal flirt with each other, packed tightly together by a mist of esoteric, occult sound. In that regard, _To Endotaton_ is not unlike the typical Italian sound represented by quality acts such as Opera IX, Abysmal Grief or Mortuary Drape.

A slow to mid-paced heavy metal backbone is complemented by half-muffled growls that add a certain wretched quality to the music, which is, in essence, very melodic, exercising captivating waves of simple riffs coupled with minimal keyboard work and sparse acoustic guitar interludes to which the aforementioned death-like deep vocals add another dimension of mystical left-hand practice. A sinister offering, aptly designed and magically engineered, the metallic baseline here is affected by Middle Eastern-esque innuendos a la Slayer's _South of Heaven_, and almost generic heavy metal clich├ęs similar to Iron Maiden's; but when summing it up, swallowing the whole of this musical product, the concoction does sound fresh and rewarding.

_To Endotaton_ is as bizarrely sounding as it is mundane; its simplicity collides with the many virtuous inner manoeuvres. Although not the most challenging musical beast out there, this album binds past and present, history and futuristic aspirations for the genre, esoteric inclinations and bland familiarity together, resulting in tight, almost flawless, a musical product that will likely cause as much pleasure to the next listener as it has to the writer of these very lines.

This is, in any way you wish to look at it, another quality product courtesy of I, Voidhanger Records. It will awaken nostalgia at the hearts of the veterans among you and educate younger generations about the greatness of the metal movement; its past, its present and probably also where it's headed in the near future. These metallic bloodlines and timelines are all represented in _To Endotaton_; all you need to do is listen!

Contact: http://www.i-voidhanger.com/

(article published 4/11/2012)


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