The Doom Death Metal music is one of the perfect examples of how deeply we’re connected to fears, to the feeling of loneliness or the pain to lose the one we love.
The first time I heard Malas Vibras, the opening track from ISTHAR‘s first album, La Higuera (March 2017), I was just blown away; The gentle birds intro turned into a massive melodic sounds from guitars that play riffs of death, combined with doom metal essence, achieving a powerful atmosphere that is complemented with the unearthly vocals of Christian Jiménez, making this song, the most powerful track of this work. All of that was unleashed at the same time, without warning.
Honestly I have to point that I had no previous experience with this band, then I really did not know what to expect.
ISTHAR is an Ecuadorian quintet that takes the basic sound of Doom Metal, combines some atmospheric elements with death metal stylistics in the key of Novembers Doom, Ocean Of Grief, Mourning Beloveth o Saturnus, adding their own ingredients to the mix to create unforgettable pieces of extreme music, like this album La Higuera, released independently by this band in March 2017.
La Higuera is a 6 tracks album with strong waves of hope and sorrow. The secret behind this gripping record is its floating, gloomy and passionate atmosphere, with riffs that can be chugging, melancholic and slow, but in one second it changes to much faster, brutal and more vivid passages. The the both guitars, lead and rhythm, always follow what the other is doing, so, that parity in execution make the songs stronger and brutal.
The lyrics are full of dark emotions, deep sadness, the grief, absence of faith and hope, the feeling of loneliness of the soul and more. All the melodies are passionate and intricate, they touch the feelings of the listener, as an example here you have Malas Vibras.
In Malas Vibras, the passionate growls of the singer are deep, desperate and brutal, and induce the listener to close their eyes and immerse themselves in a world of darkness to feel that the loneliness is neither subjective nor unreal.
En Algún Lugar, this is a song that truly destroys my soul, describes with phrases the beautiful coldness of death and doom that have always been by my side and I quote;;
“The mist of time marks a month of your absence, from the fatal and implacable day when death stroking your forehead froze your heart, covering your home with shadows and sadness to all souls of those who loved you”
[“la bruma del tiempo señala un mes de tu ausencia, desde el dia fatal e implacable cuando la muerte acariciando tu frente congeló tu corazón cubriendo de sombras tu hogar y de tristeza las almas de quienes te amaron”]
When the lyrics are recited and the Kateryna ‘Kila’ Romero‘s gloomy piano sounds like it does in this song, have the conviction that all of this sends a chilling feel of sadness and loneliness to the human brain through the ears of the listener. You have to listen carefully every single word that is spoken, you have to believe me when I tell you that this album is going break you up, sentimentally.
El Retorno del Caos and Agonico are the heaviest songs of this album, different in speed but similar in brutality and aggressiveness, death doom raw metal straight to the bone.
But wait a second, not a great doom album would be perfect without another suffocating slow intro that builds ever so delicately before smashing the listener with a baseball bat in the teeth. That’s where Vacio en El Alma comes in. Keeping the same unmatched cold grim feel of this album, this song is brutal, slow in the beginning and then turning fast with constant changes of mode, overwhelming drums and a guitar riffs.
But arriving at the end Post Apeth Triell – La Calma, takes us to a world of strange sounds, with idescrifables voices, thunderstorms and the rain falling ending with a sound that bothers you to the ear, Why end it like that? … I don’t know, every madman with their story.
The steady drumming of francisco Jiménez, fast and aggressive sometimes and slow at other times throughout in this album is pure class, with some perfect placed double kick fills hanging around in the mix.
There is not much left to say about La Higuera, So if you’re looking for a band with great doom death metal inspiration, give ISTHAR a try because I am convinced that you won’t regret!
Pancho Jiménez – Drums
Paúl Mejía – Guitar
Christian Jiménez – Guitar & Vocals
Paul Castro – Bass
David Erazo – Keyboard, Theremin, Vocals
Malas Vibras 07:53
Retorno Del Caos 06:40
En Algún Lugar (Feat. Kila) 08:44
Vacío en el Alma 06:44
Post Apeth Triell – LA CALMA 005:25