Ostensibly positioning themselves somewhere between the exalted primitivism of Demoncy and the “flowing” school of Eastern European black metal, Irillion emerged as one of the more promising black metal-acts of recent years with 2016’s Egledhron. Not so much for their choice of style, but for displaying courage to move beyond established forms in intuitive pursuit of the most effective and far-reaching mode of expression. This recently released second EP entitled Fatanyu retains the sonic signature and raw, essentialist approach evident on the debut, but trumps the debut in terms of composition and stylistic refinement.
Graced with a suitably decrepit yet powerful production, Fatanyu features three songs that all seem to focus a shared complex of moods, but approached from different angles. The title-track opens with a somber acoustic passage, which eventually give way to a martial stomp flanked by long, semi-melodic phrases which in liason with the gruff, death metal-styled vocals display a keen sense of texture and internal rhythm; segueing naturally into each other despite their contrasting ambience. “Belzoond” follows, slapping the listener in the face with a rocking, bluesy opening section before launching an introspective middle section. Concluding the EP is “Meneltarma”, which brings a synthesis of previously explored territories.
The meditative drones of Egledhron have thus given way to busier compositions with a greater number of contrasting sections – both musically and in the emotions evoked. Such a move could easily have resulted in a disjointed work, but even at its most amorphous Irillion manage to retain its inner voice. As a result, Fatanyu comes across as a more dynamic and immediately engaging release, yet without sacrificing artistic coherence. It will be very interesting to see how the band choses to tackle the full-length format.