I can honestly say you will have never heard, and are never likely to hear, a band quite like Iblis. Picture a classically trained virtuoso violinist and pianist playing away in his room a little bit of Rachmaninov, maybe a little Debussy or some of Chopin’s more dynamic preludes when he overhears his brother playing his Deicide & Obituary CDs in the other room. Instead of tutting and turning his nose up in disgust at the ghastly abhorrent din polluting his ears he accepts his brother’s interesting taste in music and decides to celebrate this by forming a band which fuses both styles.
Well, funnily enough that’s more or less Iblis for you, except the aforementioned classical musician has rather foolishly decided to take vocal duties in the style of some dodgy death metal band as well.
Being classically trained in Cello & Piano myself and also into punk and metal I find this really interesting. With ‘Transient’ Axiom opens with a beautifully crafted violin duet that mixes in Spanish-dance influences with a tense flowing piano. Think of the soundtrack to ‘The Piano’ or the Snowman, add some sweeping 4 octave arpeggios from a violin and your not far off.
What seems so bafflingly out of place and somewhat shocking is when the guitars gatecrash this serenity and a grit-gargling vocalist spits out evil ramblings. I’m immediately hit with the thought of a long-haired metal band gate-crashing through the gardens of some exquisite English outdoor tea party.
That said, find it hard not to be impressed by the professionally written compositions in ‘Odd Grin’ and title track ‘Axiom’. Although they consist of just violin & Piano their constant minor transitions still evoke the same sinister feelings that’re being expressed in heavier distortion-ridden tracks like ‘Infant’.
Although I’m both shocked but admirable that Iblis have utilised their talents to produce such a bizarre mix of opposite genres it’s quite sad that main man Moonbeam has chosen to incorporate terrible death metal into an obviously genius talent in composition. Seriously, this guy should be writing film soundtracks in Hollywood or something.
Slower track ‘La Follia’ opens with a calm, echoey acoustic guitar with spoken words over the top -but then in comes that cringe-worthy stuttering distortion and grating vocals. All I’m saying is fairplay to the guy for having the competence to go through with this project. 5 for the piano/violin duets and 1 for the rest. So 2 1/2 then.
5Mat Hocking's Score