Ixion started in 2004 as a one-man project by Julien Prat. Over the years, other members joined and the first recordings were released. Today, Ixion proudly present their second full-length, 'Enfant De La Nuit', which translates as 'Child Of The Night'. And proud they should be. This is simply a tremendous piece of gothic doom metal, a masterpiece of dark music, including beautiful ambient passages and crushing outbursts of distorted guitars and grunts.
In a way, I think it's ok to mention influences outside of the usual suspects mentioned in the first paragraph of this review. After all, Ixion use plenty of electronics, which remind me a bit of acts like Massive Attack, ASP and Archive. Furthermore, names like Dead Can Dance and Clint Mansell are never far away. In 'Discovery' I even hear a tiny bit of Jean-Michel Jarre or Klaus Schulze. That combination of doom metal and often hypnotic electronics is pretty awesome. It certainly makes me hungry for live-performances.
The vocals are just are varied and well-placed as the music is. Ranging from clean, chanting voices to haunted screams and deep growls, Ixion deliver them all. Unlike some doom bands, the vocals here are never out of place and always seem to fit in perfectly with the pace and atmosphere of the music. Grunts on funeral doom passages, angsty vocals on eerie parts, powerful chants when needed and screams when the whole turns into sludgy noise-doom.
The album has been playing quite a few times in the past few days, which is a good sign of course. Everytime I listen, I hear some new elements, new influences and layers of sound which seemed to be hidden before. One of the things that suddenly came up, was post-rock. There are plenty of elaborate passages with instrumental heavy rock, loaded with keyboards and atmosphere. Modern classical music was another one, suddenly popping up in the form of beautiful piano play.
I know I only mentioned one song in this review and it's not even my favorite one. I don't have a favorite one I think. I really prefer to listen to the entire record and start over when it's finished, just like I did with some masterpieces from Tiamat, Amorphis and The Gathering back in the day. Take it from me, it is going to be hard to find a better album in this (sub)genre, at least this year. 'Enfant De La Nuit' is a brilliant piece of work, period.