IzegrimI really have no idea how this lot have managed to pass under my radar with having been around for 20 years now. Just have a look at the album cover for the last album ‘Congress of the Insane’ and tell me you wouldn’t’ve picked it up on that alone. Anyway, ‘The Ferryman’s End’ is the fifth album by this Dutch quartet comprising of Marloes Voskuil on bass and vocals, Jeroen Wechgelaer and Bart van Ginkel on guitar, and with Ivo Maarhuis on the drums. And while Dutch they have a very Germanic thrash presence, add to that Marloes’s death vocals and their aggressive intensity and you have an album that very easily stays on repeat for weeks.

Opening track and first single from the album is “White Walls” which starts with a mid-tempo but very heavy riff that takes no persuading to get much faster and heavier at the every opportunity given when the drums slip into blasting. On the other hand “Time To Run” slips out of blasting on occasion to give you a little respite and a second or two to catch your breath before the fury is once again unleashed. The traded leads that end the song are works of art.

“Endless Desire” feels as though it’s just going to drag you slowly over broken hearts, but quickly changes when you realise that the rest of the statement is “to kill!” and tries to rip off your head.

The hyperfast and very quickly changing riffs on “The Evil Within” are exquisite in their complexity but refined in their precise delivery adding to the raspy vocal style which becomes a hoarse whisper during the bass interlude, “Absolute Necessity” follows suit to retain all the anger and lyrically is even harder hitting.

“Reclaim My Identity” is all about the masks we wear, but add to that the fact that this is a concept album with a murderous theme running through it, and it adds a further hint to the depravity of the main character, something which “Insanity Is Freedom” takes a little step further, and think Carcass ‘Heartwork’ when listening to this song too.

There are so many riffs layered and played in “Reflection Of Redemption” that it’s a rather heady mix and could be easily classed as a wall of sound, even on the slow passages.

“Through A Glass Darkly” has a strangely allegro beat to its sinister melody which the guitars produce so eloquently.

The penultimate track “Lost In Tranquility” is anything but tranquil as it starts wrapping up the raison d’être of the protagonist, and her execution during “The Ferryman’s End” does wreak a little havoc as she continues her murderous ways dispatching Charon.

I thoroughly enjoyed this album and shan’t be surprised by this lot’s rise in popularity henceforth.

(8/10  Marco Gaminara)