Published Apr 19, 2018Though their namesake means there's deficient blood supply to a body part due to an obstruction, Toronto's Ischemic have plenty of blood, plus sweat and tears, in their similarly volatile fusion of death, doom and black metal. You can hear the definitive version of their sound here now via a stream of new album Stagnation & Woe (out April 24).
Opener "Witchcraft" plods along at appropriately doomy tempos, while follow-up "Carrion Kingdom" really kicks up the blackened side of the equation, with dissonant high-pitched chords over blast beats. Album centerpiece and vocalist Isabelle Tazbir's favourite live track is the lurching "Marasmus," which she notes "sits at the heart of the record. It's a beast, with some great dynamics and a miserable, crushing vibe, but I think there's a tiny sliver of hope that shines through."
That's more or less the perfect encapsulation of the band's sound, with an interlude splitting the second half off from a couple of tracks that scratch your Paradise Lost itch and a more nimble yet still suffocating Autopsy-esque tune.
Referencing a band named Autopsy is apt, as Tazbir is a nurse in emergency and critical care during her day job, so while she doesn't necessarily perform those, she's with patients for the heavy moments before they may pass on (and may consequently need one). And it's those times that influence her lyrics.
"I meet people going through some of the shittiest times in their lives — whether they're in the hospital bed, or at their loved one's side," she explains. "I've definitely seen people die alone. It's not pretty. But I've also seen countless people get well. It's all part of the human experience, and it all affects the lyrics I write."
Hear all of Stagnation & Woe for yourself below, where you'll also find Ischemic's upcoming Canadian tour dates.
04/27 Guelph, ON - DSTRCT
04/29 Toronto, ON - The Boat
05/06 St. Catharines, ON - Warehouse
06/01 Toronto, ON - Sonic Cafe
06/02 Hamilton, ON - TBA
06/03 Montreal, QC - Suoni Per Il Popolo