Following up their successful album Code of Consequences of 2011, Dutch extreme metallers Izegrim return with another antagonistic slab of sonic causticity in the tempestuous shape of Congress of the Insane. Consisting of eleven venomously cultured violations of thrash bred death metal, the fourth album from the band rages and spews malignant torrents of sound which conspire to ignite the imagination through its collection of well-crafted and impressively accomplished assaults. It is not a ravaging to forge new scars within either of its seed genres or any crossover field, the album devoid of any distinctly standout tracks which linger and continue to seduce with unique toxins, but the release still unleashes a fury of songs which satisfies the hunger for strong intelligently sculpted and passionately delivered intrusive enterprise.
Congress of the Insane is the second release from the band through Listenable Records and confirms the rising potency and stature of the foursome, a strong plateau built through previous releases and live performances which has seen the band alongside the likes of Kreator, Annihilator, Onslaught and many more. Looking at the concept of “evil in the deceiving human nature”, the album ensures thoughts are provoked and emotions lit through the lyrical and aural provocation which starts with the excellent artwork and moves through every aspect of the release. In its company Congress of the Insane makes a noteworthy companion, just one which manages to miss leaving long term persuasion away from its side.
The album crowds the ears from the very first seconds of opener Relic of the Past, cantankerous rhythms and intimidating riffs setting down their canvas to turn on an intensity and power which sprawls rigorously over the body of the track. Led by the excellent guttural vocals of Marloes Voskuil, her immense delivery soaked in vehemence and aural pestilence, Izegrim twists and turns the song with shifts in rhythmic attack and meandering sinewy grooves around a thrash cored spine which in its presence fires up the senses and appetite, the strong start then emulated in strength and quality by the following Decline and Fall. With an open rabidity to every aspect of the track around a gait which lurches and prowls through the ear, the song is an invigorated almost anthemic incitement which leaves attention greedy though it, like quite a few upon the album, fades out for its finale, something which never pleases for personal tastes.
Both Celebratory Gunfire and Endless Strife continue the good work in enticing the listener into the album’s black hearted narrative, though neither matches the success of their predecessors. The pair share a carnivorous breath but flavours the charge with impressive fiery guitar work from Jeroen Van Heuvelen and Bart Van Ginkel which engages senses and thoughts firmly whilst the rhythmic tempest of drummer Ivo alongside the bassist predation of Voskuil and her ever intensively gripping vocals cage and enslave the imagination for the two guitarists to cast their sonic invention.
The ear battering Deterioration from Perfection with its intensive thrash savagery amidst death metal brutality and the exhaustive Unchallenged Dominance add their skilful corruptive suasion to the bruising encounter to fine effect but soon pale against the excellent Modern Day Freak, one song which does remain in thoughts and memory after the release takes its leave. From a carnivalesque intro with a sideshow barker making the invitation for the pursuing mayhem under a vibrant blaze of brass temptation, the track erupts into its muscular stride and rampages with a thumping rhythmic inducement and insidious malevolence to guitars and vocals which cannot fail to impress and recruit the passions. It is the best track on the album and one which lifts the lid off of the deep potential within the band, something all tracks effectively hint at to be fair.
The likes of The Legion with its imagination stalking intent and presence, the fierce Carousel of Death, and the outstanding Manifest of a Megalomaniac which features Sabina Classen of Holy Moses alongside Voskuil in a wonderfully vicious and intoxicating union, ensure the album closes with powerful strength and in riveting style whilst the final track Carnival of Deception scripts an evocative landscape of aggressive brutality and compulsion honed through a fire of sonic imagination. It is an apocalyptic pinnacle and climax to a destructive album which in its company only satisfies. Congress Of The Insane maybe a missed opportunity in its failure to create entrenched aspects which makes it a potent provocateur at any moment in time but as the last song alone roams around and incites the emotions, you know Izegrim has provided a rather pleasing and exciting incitation.
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Izegrim show me a blend between Arch Enemy and Kreator!?
Anyway sound brutal and sickness. Excellent sounds. Congratulations!