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Not too bad for a first release - 60%

oneyoudontknow, May 17th, 2017
Written based on this version: 2016, Digital, Independent (Bandcamp)

The cover artwork reveals it to some extent. The mental aberration that underlies the band name. Illithid or mind flayers are a very unique and rather unpleasant species in the Dungeon and Dragons universe; something everyone who has ever played one of the computer games of this universe will most definitely agree upon. In this visual manifestation there is a certain duality expressed, a distorted brain, whose two halves have been placed at strange angles. Could something of equal proportions to be expected to find its way into the music as well?

Such a thing is not easy to come by. How to express such a level of weirdness? At least the band attempts to play a type of black metal, whose direction is as balanced and diverse as to spark a certain amount of interest. Driven to some extent by intense screaming and together with a comparably raw sound, the six tracks on the debut release of the Canadian band -- or one man project -- are able to leave some impression. A rather strange aspect on this release is the uncertainty with which the band presents their music. While their most convincing part are those of high dynamics and focus on the guitar riffs, it is not this one that would be make up most of the release. Instead, there is too much of calmer and less energetic arrangements. Bursts and then the energy is gone. A slightly more steadiness in the conceptual progression would be a nice thing indeed.

While the image might point towards some Norwegian bands and their albums from the 90s, things are more complicated. The guitar have a bit of norsecore, are all too often an intense noisy wall and at other present rather "normal" play of arrangements, whose sound comes with hardly any distortion. Therefore, it is rather a mixture of a variety of bands thrown together. There is no Immortal, but rather something like Mutiilation meets Gorgoroth meets Ildjarn with some additional distortion and less of versatility in the song-writing. Or take a dive into some of the more established raw black metal acts in the underground and you could find some additional similarities as well. Do not be mistaken, those 25 minutes on this debut release by this Canadian band is by no means bad, it is just unable to leave much of an impression at times. Illithid are best once they unleash all of their haunts and throw all into the direction of the listener. Once the music does not distract from the fact that it is actually nothing particularly new that is being offered here.

(Written on the MP3s acquired on their bandcamp entry; 320 kbps)