Ixion – Enfant De La Nuit (2015)

Ixion are a death/doom act similar to many in that realm, including Saturnus and Swallow The Sun except for the fact that they also work with electronics in order to create their atmospheres. Synths are quite common for doom, but these guys are trying to meld the genre with something similar to synth-wave. It’s not all common death, doom and synths though as “Children Of The Night” (4:24) sounds like something right out of mid-era Tiamat. You know, their “goth” days. The rest of the record is rather slow, but filled with enough harmony to keep things fresh. That could be said for both the guitars and the synths, which work together in the mix quite well. You might even say that they compliment each other throughout the listen. Enfant De La Nuit is definitely the kind of record where the melodies come off truly vibrant, and the vocals absolutely menacing. There are even two kinds of harsh vocal duets here, just to make things even more deathy; so to speak. But Enfant De La Nuit is the kind of album that doesn’t even need vocals, as it works perfectly fine as an atmosphere. I especially like the brighter tracks here, like closer “Odyssey” (6:26) which shows that perhaps there is a little bit of light to be found deep within the confines of the dark, but melodious abyss. The record is definitely a doom album for doom fans, just as long as you like melody.

I actually prefer this one more to the Swallow The Sun stuff this year, it just seems to stick out more to me and the clean vocal sections feel a bit crisper. Maybe there’s more heart here, I’m not really sure. It could very well be due to the youthful vigor of these gentlemen who haven’t yet released their seventh or ninth record and are still in the early stages of their career. Regardless of that, it should go without saying that there’s something to Enfant De La Nuit that strikes me as spectacular. It’s dark, but then again, it’s not so dark – it’s just right, just as melodic doom/death should sound, with a focus that sticks more to what’s important instead of brooding around in a back alley somewhere. It’s a twinkly sort of affair, but it’s in those twinkles and in those monolithic harmonies that I find myself completely enamored. I’ve heard a lot of melodic doom/death this year, but Ixion are definitely onto something. I know that some of you don’t care for the electronic effects, but it can’t hurt to give an old style a new coat of paint every once in a while and that’s what they’ve done here. You can take your complaints up with our complaint department, but that’s not going to change the fact that I’d consider Enfant De La Nuit one of the year’s best doom records, and well worth checking out and getting your hands on as soon as possible. Maybe there is still some improvement to be done, but with a performance as literally memorable as this one, I could really care less at this point. Go check it out!

(9 Tracks, 48:00)

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