Ipsissimus - The Way of Descent Review
by Matt Hensch
Ipsissimus hails from the frostbitten land of insufferable grimness that is Connecticut, a place of desolation and the slayer of souls. From Connecticut they rose, and the trio turned some heads with their "The Three Secret of Fatima" EP and eventually impressed enough of the damned to earn a sturdy following. "The Way of Descent" will probably act as the introduction ritual for those unfamiliar with the black metal tribulation which defines the occult atmosphere of Ipsissimus, but this is not an improper initiation. "The Way of Descent" is a weird, twisting apparatus of creepy black metal vomiting a plethora of cool riffs and structural textures of an advanced nature. Maybe not the most original or fascinating album ever, but it kicks tail regardless.
Ipsissimus' take on black metal is a fairly basic, albeit vengeful one. The band's stylistic ways depend greatly on aggression of all kinds, using vehement tremolo riffs and blast beats underneath wailing shrieks, or slow, boiling sections to convey some sort of dark power through haunting, creepy riffs that debatably leak a trace of Immolation influence. Pretty easy to digest, really. The group's tricks end up being quite enjoyable despite the straightforward postulate, and Ipsissimus seldom halts the downpour of crucifying riffs and punishing fierceness for a sign of weakness or mercy. I really don't care for the production though; this record would seem much more natural in a raw, degrading sound than the digital clarity which is unfortunately provided.
However, this is quite solid and well written stuff, mainly because Ipsissimus knows black metal from top to bottom. They immediately heave two long numbers to start the album, with the longest nearly hitting ten minutes, and the remaining tracks easily cross over the five-minute line and often crawl near or past seven or eight minutes. The importance? Ipsissimus' approach, although fairly uncomplicated, is sliced into multiple riffs and speeds per song that flow smoothly together and overall add an extra tint of black to this diabolical effort. Clandestine and ravenous, Ipsissimus proves they are hungry for the blood of angels, and this is definitely an album to check out if you want something both bestial and sophisticated.
Ipsissimus - The Way of Descent
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