Iblis - _Menthell_
(Death to Music Productions, 2012)
by: Chaim Drishner (9 out of 10)
Ironically, a label called Death to Music has released an album that is anything but the precursor for the demise of music. If anything, _Menthell_ marks the contrary: a new dawn for extreme music, an evolution of the stagnant metal movement, if you will. Well, not exactly the revolutionary entity you'd think it to be, however damn close to being one, for _Menthell_ quotes bands and albums that were, each and every one of them, ahead of their time, hence revolutionary to some extent.

Iblis approaches metal music from an apparently comical angle, treating it as if it were a circus arena, where acrobats, clowns and wild animals display their abilities simultaneously, causing not only a commotion but also a mishmash of sounds and colours that are imaginary as well as otherworldly -- creating confusion in such a way the listener never knows whether or not the music is to be taken seriously or simply a parody of sorts, a joke album crafted by a joke band; whether the music is dark and twisted or humorous.

The level of musicianship is top notch. The songwriting structures and the weird dynamics, the unexpected blast beats and the jazzy bass guitar lines all approach the avantgarde, but only mildly. This album is not as abstract or experimental as genuine avantgarde usually is, yet its quirky nature and overall production allow it to be associated with the very best of avantgarde-aspiring albums out there that have still remained solid and listenable; rooted deeply in the mundane soils of dirty rock 'n' roll, yet aspiring to become elitist stargazers.

Ved Buens Ende's work, both on _Written in Waters_ and _Those Who Caress the Pale_, is echoed by this album, as well as Norway's Virus, whose work on _The Agent That Shaped The Desert_ was an obvious influence for these proficient Polish musicians. The odd chameleon-like vocals and the sometimes apparently chaotic nature of this wondrous sonic admixture only add charm to this recording.

_Menthell_, albeit this devilish quartet's debut album, is a flawless, unique and exciting album that holds many merits. It is exceptionally written and executed, and it echoes some of this reviewer's most cherished albums in metal's history, but not to the extent of musical plagiarism. And if Iblis do sound like modern-day Ved Buens Ende or Virus copycats -- for once they are excused; there are very few copycats who can record an album such as _Menthell_.

Contact: http://iblis.bandcamp.com/

(article published 29/12/2012)

11/20/2000 P Azevedo 6 Iblis - Axiom
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