Tuesday 17 February 2015

Review: In Death It Ends – 'Protogrammaton'


In Death It Ends has maintained an intensive release schedule over the past few years with multiple album, single, EP and free download releases each year. This has already built up into an impressive and enviable back catalogue that synthesizes elements of witch house, post punk, gothic rock, industrial and darkwave into something genuinely unique. 'Protogrammaton' marks the start of the 2015 release cycle in anticipation of the next full length LP 'Beneath Eden'. Even though it is a free to download mini-album, that doesn't take away from the quality of the music it contains.

The album begins in a familiar way with the opening track 'Phlegmatic' utilising a simple and prominent bass line over some distinctly witchy electronics for an up tempo spooky dance track. 'Opportunistic' on the other hand explores an take on the early electro-industrial sound of the 80s with its mechanical rhythms and ambient synth layers. 'Thematic' brings things back into witch house territory with its emphasis on modern, lo-fi dance synths taking the lead backed up by a sinister groove. 'Individuating' pulls things back to a more shoegaze tinged dark post punk vibe with its psychedelic bass and distorted synths cutting through.

'Awakening' then progresses into a proto-gothic cum darkwave creeping track that is perhaps the most atmospheric and cinematic on the album. The penultimate track 'Neophyte' brings the album back full circle once agin returning to the prominent simple bass, and witchy electronics, this time however adding a bit more the dar psychedelic atmosphere of the previous songs. The album is then wrapped up by the slow and atmospheric 'Adept' which displays the subtler side of the In Death It Ends style.

Once again the production walks that fine line between the lo-fi underground sounds it draws its inspirations from, and the polished modern standard it deserves. There is always that wonderfully underground feel to these albums but there is no denying that they are even more enjoyable due to the fact they are mixed and mastered with great attention to detail.

If this is your first introduction to IDIE then 'Protogrammaton' is a good place to start. It provides a good cross section of the band's styles and influences in one accessible package. It isn't the most defining of the back catalogue to date, but it still holds its own.

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