The Aachen, Germany-based band Ius Talionis is very young, but they immediately impress the Dark Underworld with their demo Eleutheromania. The quartet (guitar player Viator Noctis, bass player Nár, vocalist Koshmar and drummer Ryu) started playing together under this moniker as from October 2013, but it sounds as if they used to perform as a team for quite some time, for this demonstrational recording sounds extremely adult and cohesive. With new guitar player Eremos, they published a first song during spring 2014, which was extremely well received by both press and audience, and soon the quintet entered their home studio to record more stuff, which gets now compiled under the title Eleutheromania.
Eleutheromania is a lengthy four-tracker; I mean that the songs have quite some average duration, with two clocking over ten minutes. It starts with Irrlicht, the longest piece on the EP (fourteen minutes). As the title suggests, the theme deals with false hope and betrayal, loss and disappointment (or am I wrong?). The introduction, lasting for a couple of minutes, is pretty adventurous, ominous, even little pretentious yet not of the arrogant kind), but I think it’s an interesting approach. Then, after three minutes or something, it all organically transforms into a slow-paced and down-tuned form of oppressing Black Metal with a mechanical sound, caused by the machinery-laden drum patterns (if there wasn’t a drummer involved, I would have sworn that this was a drum computer programming) and distant melodic leads. There’s quite some tradition that did inspire this song writing, but the classical approach comes with a post-modernistic execution, which seems to trademark this band throughout the whole recording. There is quite some differentiation in this song’s structure, but the changes in tempo and melody are of a very organic kind, and despite the length this song captivates without one single moment of boredom. Antlitz Des Krieges is the shortest composition (5:18”), and much more energetic and aggressive than the opener. It’s like a sonic definition of apathic existence, both lyrically and aurally, defined by fast-energetic and mercilessly crushing rhythms and riffs, supported by the venomous throat of Koshmar. Im Angesicht Des Todes goes on in that vein, yet it’s more varying, especially when it comes to the speed and the melodious structures. Despite quite some forceful aggression, this track is the most introvert / introspective composition on Eleutheromania; I even want to say it is the most emotive one. The EP ends with the title track, which lasts for ten minutes. It is a symbiosis of the three former songs, including the epic and soberness of the first one, and the fierceness and power of the second and third track. Once again with deep-thought lyrics, this track is a definition of innovation and tradition mingled together, only possible if created and performed by an entity that has a bright future ahead. Read: I am convinced that Ius Talionis are a band not to ignore. If there is a smart label out there reading this review, then you will know what to do.