Into the Unknown: Ius Talionis

Into the Unknown is a continuing series where I choose an album I’ve never heard before, completely at random, and write about my first thoughts on it.

Ius Talionis- Eleutheromania

Ius Talionis Bandcamp

Ius Talionis are a raw black metal band (based on what I’ve heard) from Aachen, Deutschland, comprised of members Koshmar (vocals), Viator Noctis (guitar), Eremos (guitar), Moros (bass) and Demiurg (drums). Formed in 2013, their discography consists only of one demo released in 2014, and a 2016 single from an upcoming album about which no details could be found, aside from the name… Saligia.

2014’s Eleutheromania was recorded in the band’s rehearsal space. Accordingly, it is quite raw. The drums sound as if all the drumheads were removed and replaced with wet socks. The bass sound on this demo is actually quite nice for raw black metal. Essentially, if you’re a fan of good production quality, you should maybe avoid this entire genre. And as a side note, that album art is gorgeous.

Eleutheromania kicks off with the fourteen-minute track Irrlicht, which is a bit of a sonic journey. Phasing in and out of ambient parts, distortion powered melancholia and more melodic clean sections, there are some nice surprises on this track. Moros delivers some really pleasant basslines here that complement the rest of the instrumentation really nicely- a rarity for black metal in general. This demo in general features a surprisingly present bottom end, which contributed a great amount to my overall enjoyment of it. The feel of this track is one that continually evolves throughout, without becoming tedious or sounding too busy.

Following Irrlicht is the five minute track Antlitz des Krieges, which is definitely a more traditional sounding raw black metal track. Powered by aggressive guitar playing and blast beats, Antlitz des Krieges is full of energy and tremolo picking. It’s quite the contrast to the more laid-back Irrlicht, thought it’s not without its ups and downs as well. The track features a guitar solo over a more laid-back section before returning to the aggressiveness demonstrated earlier in the song for the ending.

Im Angesicht des Todes picks up where Antlitz left off, offering fast paced, tremolo picked segments that progress gradually and gently into different feels throughout the song. At almost seven minutes in length, this is a bit of a longer track featuring a slightly different feel than the other songs on the demo. There are some parts here where the bass lines are really solid and clearly establishing a nice foundation for everything going on overtop. Another guitar solo ends the track.

The last song on the demo, Eleutheromania, is a ten minute change of pace. The drums really shine on this track- more so than anywhere else on the album. The beginning establishes a solid groove whose feel is somewhat maintained flowing into the other parts. Though the energy of this track is lower, it contributes a really interesting feel to the demo, making it a great example of diversity.

Lyrically, Ius Talionis focuses on death, anti-cosmic occultism and the ambiguity of light and darkness. On to their Bandcamp page, the band boasts that “Each song has it’s own unique, vibrant feeling, mirroring the Bands many facettes,” and this is definitely something that, listening to it, I feel is true. Eleutheromania presents a long ambiguous sonic journey that I enjoyed more and more as it went on. Though it was nothing revolutionary, I could see myself listening to this again in the future, and I will definitely listen to the album that they’re planning on releasing, being that their single sounded pretty good as well. All in all I’d recommend this band to any fans of this style of black metal, which sounds heavily influenced by the classic Norwegian second wave bands.

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