The Ferryman's End


"And lo! toward us in a barkComes on an old man, hoary white with eld,Crying, […]
By Anton Sanatov
June 21, 2016
Izegrim - The Ferryman's End album cover

"And lo! toward us in a bark
Comes on an old man, hoary white with eld,
Crying, "Woe to you, wicked spirits! hope not
Ever to see the sky again. I come
To take you to the other shore across,
Into eternal darkness, there to dwell
In fierce heat and in ice." (Dante Alighieri - 'Inferno')

Metal - especially its more extreme constituents - often takes us to some dark places. We've all camped out in blackened, sap-dripping woods, filled with spine-grabbing vermin-like infidels and swamps of pure, high-grade filth. That is not to say that we don't enjoy the getaway, on the contrary, we seem to opt for the heaviest package - with bludgeoning recreations and buffets of fresh viscera.

Not many would subject themselves to such voyage, but this is a metaller's prerogative. Much like Dante's excursion to the underworld, we venture towards the real, to the shores of truth; no matter how dark or twisted are those moors. And on "The Ferryman's End", IZEGRIM prove to be worthy guides to a blackened resort of brutality, running circles around the netherworlds and doing so with righteous attitude.

Virgil may rest on this tour - for IZEGRIM seem to know their way around. Kicking down the gates of hell with gusto and marching in like seniors at a high-school party, they slap away the reaching hands of the tormented and light their own fires with an incendiary blend of Thrash, Groove and Death Metal.

Writing memorable songs within such stylistic boundaries is not an easy task - and that is what makes this record so impressive. Instead of turning this album into yet another carnival of putrid attractions and "whack-a-demon" battery, IZEGRIM manage to retain the brutal edges of great Death Metal whilst committing to good songwriting and commendable instrumentation.

From the opener "White Walls" the band sets a new standard for the genre by combing accessible yet thorough metallic thrashing with almost elegant breakdowns, fitting tempo changes, and interesting riffs. On top of that, tracks like "The Evil Within" (a sure-fire highlight) and "The Absolute Necessity" are filled with catchy hooks and enticing passages that will have you making return trips across those flaming waters.

Another of "The Ferryman's End's" strengths is its dimensional variety. It offers listeners compelling examples of a great blend of genres through multiple approaches; ranging from the enticing, all-encompassing assaults of the aforementioned hits, to the Doom-stricken grinds of "Insanity Is Freedom" and "Reflection Of Redemption" and all the way to the perfectly torturous thrashers like "Reclaim My Identity"; heathens beware. The band even ventures into  "Core-esque" territory towards the end of the record with "Through A Glass Darkly" and "Lost In Tranquillity", and doing so with character and excellence.

The production is fantastic; the instruments sound massive, heavy and dirty (though not muddy), whilst retaining substantial clarity and dynamism; this is Death Metal done with style. The band also sounds bonded and inspired; with lead guitarist Bart van Ginkel even throwing in a tasty solo or too during moments of particular enjoyment. Yet the spotlight on "The Ferryman's End" clearly shines on vocalist/bassist Marloes Voskuli, whose growls are not only righteously entertaining, but also comprehensible and exciting. Her bass work too, contributes an extra serving of lead to the heaviness of the record.

Overall, "The Ferryman's End" is near-perfect voyage into the underworld that gets more exiting with every circle. And whether you're a fan of the genre or not, "The Ferryman's End" will have you boarding Charon's vessel without hesitation and sailing across the waters of Acheron with a sure smile on your face.

9 / 10

Almost Perfect








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"The Ferryman's End" Track-listing:
  1. White Walls
  2. Time To Run
  3. Endless Desire
  4. The Evil Within
  5. Absolute Necessity
  6. Reclaim My Identity
  7. Insanity Is Freedom
  8. Reflection Of Redemption
  9. Through A Glass Darkly
  10. Lost In Tranquility
  11. The Ferryman's End
Izegrim Lineup:

Jeroen Wechgelaer - Rhythm Guitar
Marloes Voskuli - Bass & Vocals
Bart van Ginkel - Lead Guitar
Ivo Maarhuis - Drums

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