I, VOIDHANGER RECORDS
PRESENTS










YSENGRIN
TO ENDOTATON
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FORMAT:
CD    CATALOG N. IVR-012

Total time 40:06

Performed by
LA GUILDE DE LA MALEBESTE
Aboth - drums
Guido Saint Roch - vocals, bass, guitar, keys
Aldébaran
- guitar, solos, keys

CD in jewelcase with 4-page booklet + additional lyric poster
LP + poster. Limited to 100 copies

CD released June 26th, 2012. LP released June 1st, 2013
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AVAILABLE NOW AT OUR STORE
CD or LP + T-Shirt bundle available

 




Under the guidance of French guitarist/vocalist Guido Saint Roch and his La Guilde De La Malabeste, YSENGRIN play what they call hermetic dark metal: esoteric, occult music that reminds of a Middle-Age of metal when there were no boundaries between its sub-genres, and spontaneity and attitude were the most important values.
With their elegant yet primitive style, YSENGRIN capture the essence of early 90s Hellenic black metal as well as Mortuary Drape's morbidity and death fascination, dipping everything into the doomy, 70s-tinged heavy metal of Death SS and Mercyful Fate.

Graced with a cover painting by reknown Finnish artist Turkka G. Rantanen (Adramelech, Demigod, Depravity, Demilich and many others), YSENGRIN's third full-length,"To Endotaton", is a conceptual one-track album of 40 minutes that describes an initiatic rite taking place in the dark meanders of a cavern.

Sometimes cryptic and melancholic, other times triumphantly epic and darkly psychedelic, enriched with delicate acoustic passages, sumptuous guitar solos, eerie keyboards and deep growls, "To Endotaton" is the allegory of a mystical journey through the deepest recesses of the soul, in search of "la Lumière qui surpasse touts les lumières", the Light which surpasses all lights.

        


HERMETIC MUSIC


 


 
TO ENDOTATON - Trailer


 

        


DISCOGRAPHY






TO ENDOTATON (I, Voidhanger Records - 2012. LP released in 2013)
TRAGEDIES - LIBER HERMETIS  (De Profundis Editions - 2011)
LA MAISNIEE DU MAUFE - A Tribute to the Dark Ages  (De Profundis Editions - 2011) Split with Aorlhac, Darknehöld and Ossuaire
ALCHIMETE  - EP (De Profundis Editions - 2010)
ARCHIVIUM MMV - MMX  (Self released - 2010)
ARS MAGNA MORIENDI
(Fiery Path - 2009) Split with Borgia
T.R.I.A.D.E.
(Heidenwut - 2008)

 

        


REVIEWS




DEVILMENT ZINE
[Issue #6]
Review by Gravegoat

‘To Endotaton’ follows in the same vein as was previously cluttered; hence it’s a swamp rather than a sea of change that we’re witnessing. Nevertheless a few things are to be reported in terms of the band’s alchemical growth. For a start this album consists in one long track, designed to guarantee our soul’s perdition. Also, the arrangements have been worked out more efficiently, more thoroughly; in other words, Guido and his posse of criminal helpers have pushed the concept further. Firstly, free rein was given to the aberrant imagination of YSENGRIN with the warranted inclusion of classic soli and bluesy parts to diversify the band’s musical paradigm. Baffling it may be yet the classic guitar is also back to haunt us with some lovely spells. As for the other guitars, they remain as jarring and mystical as they used to be, reminding me sometimes of DEATHSPELL OMEGA albeit never giving in to free-jazz. Still the structures are rather unhinged and double-jointed for Black/Death/Doom Metal. Nevertheless, it cannot be denied that they succeeded in creating a heady, insistent aural ambience, not least when the ritual percussions come into play. Interestingly, the zany parts sometimes turn into traditional, effective Black Metal save for the vocals which remain those grim raucous vociferations which we have come to love. The appearance of more keyboard layers is a novelty feature too. Those sound akin to symphonic BM though they are more ponderous and never ring like the ‘heroic rides’ of Dimmubergine and their treacherous consorts. Instead, they evoke clouds of glaucous vapours irk irk irk. What I find intriguing, fascinating even, about YSENGRIN is that, whether they play Black, Death, Doom or Heavy Metal, it never sounds of place. The band’s patina is always present to confer cohesion to the tunes and I verily believe that this is the mark of a seasoned band which knows how to achieve its goal and does it with class. YSENGRIN resembles a particular composition of certain Crude and rotten Metals, such as usually are, or may be heard, at your own peril with some utter devotion to give them a grating Grist and headbanging force. Think of a salmagundi of MORTUARY DRAPE, DSO and EVOKEN, peppered with classical guitar, bluesy passages and Heavy Metal licks. Digest it who may.
[4 out of 5]

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THE RIPPLE EFFECT
Review by Todd Severin

To Endotaton is the French black metal trio Ysengrin's third full-length, the first for the fledgling label I, Voidhanger, and it is a monster of an album. It consists of only one track, To Endotaton, which clocks in at just over 40 minutes. Despite the ...long play time for only one track, there is never a dull moment on here thanks to the excellent musicianship and songwriting skills of the band.
This is the first time I have heard of Ysengrin and they do leave me wanting for more mainly because of the aforementioned traits above but also because they step outside the box and try to experiment a little bit which works wonders for them. And that has to do mainly with not over-doing it which isn't a problem for these Frenchmen at all. To me it seems they have a healthy dose of a less-is-more approach which is good when you want to expand your musical boundaries.
Ysengrin is a nice surprise that I will definitely explore more and I urge you to do that same. Of course I only know what To Endotaton sounds like and I do recommend it greatly. However, go on further and listen to their previous efforts as well. They truly deserve more recognition. Génial!

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TEMPLE OF ADORATION
[Issue #9]
Review by Phil

This seems to be a conceptual release since there is just one single song of 40 minutes playing time. But in between the music there parts which consists of just a voice and some backround noize, dark ambient or a keyboard. So sometimes it sound like if it could be divided into tracks. The overall song is a monument they build. It´s a fucking fantastic.atmosphere which didnt get boring at all in a single minute. For me among the top standouts of todays Death Metal scene. Hard to compare them with, at the beginning I thought of Necros Christos a little but through the overall playing there various bands coming in my mind while listening. There moments which sound little epic and during the mid 20ies there is a part I had to think of“Sacro” by Masacre. But it`s also bands like Morgoth, Varathron, some Doom and also non-Metal elements...I had to think of. And again The Chasm and Mythological Cold Towers (early). This may all sound like much and nothing at the same time. But the band really found their own unqiue way of composing and they do not sound like a copycat or without identity at all. They found a balance between old school Death Metal and doors up to many other sources without sounding all and nothing. Killer layout (as always).

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SPELLBOUND
Review by Thomas

Lorsque j'avais laissé Ysengrin la dernière fois, sur un split très gode froid (de Bouillon!) accompagné des trois acolytes que sont Darkenhöld, Aorlhac et Ossuaire, le groupe me paraissait au top de sa forme, lâchant certainement l'un des morceaux les plus imposants de sa carrière. Je me demandais ce que l'avenir du combo allait nous réserver. Quelque peu silencieux mais jamais en manque d'imagination, la bande à Guido travaillait dans l'ombre à un nouveau chapitre dans l'histoire de l’ennemi de Renart.
Et nous y voilà ! To Endotaton, nous arrive dans les mains comme une ode au temps plus sombre, plus obscure de l'histoire médiéval. Déjà rien que par le travail apporté à la cover, ce disque semble envoûter son auditeur vers un mystère insondable, la ou ce dernier ne sera que la marionnette d'une force supérieure.
Un unique morceau pour 40 minutes de mystères, d'ambiances extrêmement riches et ô combien immersive compose cet album. Choix réellement courageux d'Ysengrin sur ce point car l'on sait a quel point ce genre de projet peut devenir d'une redondance extrême et d'un ennui profond au bout d'un certain temps à se demander quand tout va démarrer. Un véritable défis que le groupe va remporter avec brio ! Déjà, et c'est essentiel pour ce type de sortie, par une richesse absolument phénoménale en terme d'ambiance. L'auditeur passe vraiment par des chemins étranges, le menant à la fois vers des tréfonds des plus sombres d'un occultisme médiéval tantôt très mystérieux (notamment par les quelques effets en supplémentaire, comme un clavier aux dimensions funèbres et les quelques breaks de trois milles tonnes chacun, Doom over the world!) tantôt plutôt menaçant a des tempos plus rapides et presque parfois doté d'une saveur un peu progressive (sans le côté chiant pour une fois) . Ici c'est l'inconnu, teinté d'une saveur d'obscurantisme, qui règne sur un auditeur asservis. Les guitares sèches renforcent bien souvent ce sentiment d'ailleurs.
Les accélérations de tempo sont plutôt rare avec peut être quelques passages un peu mal négociés cela dit de temps à autre, les parties se succédant des fois avec un peu de difficultés. Cela dit, la force de To Endotaton est véritablement la surprise de qui l'écoute avec insistance. Toujours pris au dépourvue par les nouveautés successives, on a parfois l'impression d'être perdu au milieu de ces ambiances à la fois sombre, nostalgique par moment même, érotique par endroit, mais c'est bel et bien une dimension de mystère qui plane éternellement (bordel ces claviers planant et puant la mort rampante!).
La dominante du titre est assez doom donc comme dit auparavant, mais ce dernier laisse une place prépondérante à un black metal assez atypique, surtout en fin de seconde partie qui achève le titre sur ambiance très aérienne, beaucoup plus vivante que le reste du titre au final. Les quelques parties de blast arrivent un peu comme un petit choc, une découverte qui met à genoux l'auditeur face à la grandeur de cette dernière. Un putain de régal je vous dis.
Au final, un effort qui prouve encore une fois la qualité grimpante en flèche de ce groupe mêlant à la fois imagerie médiévale, savoir faire et attrait de l'inconnu. L'amateur de black/doom très spécifique fera son petit marché avec cet album, certainement sans se soucier, qu'il tient la ni plus ni moins qu'une aventure au cœur d'un maelström de noirceurs étranges et fascinantes. A vous d'y mettre les pieds, à vous d'en ressortir, mais certainement pas indemne.

[8,5 out of 10]

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IN EXTREMIS ZINE
Review by Jean Pazola

Depuis Edge of Sanity et son cultissime "Crimson", les skeuds qui n'affichent qu'un seul titre de 40 minutes au compteur ne sont plus le seul apanage des progeux à lunettes. Mais si l'exercice n'effraie plus le métalleux de base, en revanche c'est toujours quelque chose à appréhender différemment, un disque avec lequel il faut prendre son temps, s'installer dans un fauteuil et se laisser embarquer pour grand voyage. Ça tombe bien, j'ai du temps, la pluie par la fenêtre me donne pas super envie de m'y frotter, on va dire qu'il faut être d'humeur réceptive pour encaisser le challenge. D'un autre coté, pour celui qui en est l'auteur c'est le genre d'exercice assez périlleux, l'espérance chez l'auditeur étant quelque part décuplée. Forcément quand on attend de l'audace et des tournures osées, l'éventualité de tomber sur un déluge prétentieux n'est pas exclu. Alors je lis dans tes pensées (...enfin je trie, sinon ça me dégoutes), tu te demandes si on tient là un skeud qui force le respect ou l'inverse, une daube infâme propre à déclencher une salve de railleries?
Définitivement Ysengrin appartient à la première catégorie, soit rassuré, parce qu'ici on tape dans le haut niveau, le gang se bonifiant au fil du temps et des productions. Autant j'avais pas du tout accroché à sa partie du split avec Borgia, autant l'album "Tragedies..." qu'avait suivi juste après m'avait bien plus motivé les cervicales. Entre-temps on a eu droit au split avec Aorlhac/Darkenhold qu'avait conforté mes impressions, or là j'dois dire que le Guido tient le bon bout à nouveau. Son dark/death-metal s'est définitivement débarrassé des imperfections qui lui pourrissaient la vie (une batterie hésitante, un son très... "particulier"), il a su s'entourer, du coup il se lâche et laisse son inspiration exploser au grand jour. Sur une base death/black, on retrouve donc un métal qui puise aussi bien dans des influences doom que chez des groupes à fortes connotations gothico-horrifiques. Des percées de rifailles thrash par ci, des solos heavy par là, la façon de faire est à l'ancienne puisque Ysengrin privilégie plus les ambiances que les déflagrations sans but. C'est pas du tout rapide, mais pas statique non plus, avec un coté mélodique très présent, une basse qui sait de faire remarquer, un chant guttural qui assombrit le tout, et puis aussi des courts intermèdes acoustiques à la Coroner, et même des parties de synthés/percussions totalement hantées. Dit comme ça, j'me rends compte que c'est loin de décrire le contenu musical de l'oeuvre, alors peut-être qu'on pourrait rapprocher ça des tous débuts de Moonspell (le mcd sorti chez Adipocere), lorsque les portugais sonnaient encore black et occulte?
Sauf que c'est pas vraiment ça. Vers les 21' on pense bien à Celtic Frost, avec aussi des effluves de Tiamat/Pink Floyd sur la fin quand ça prend un virage atmosphérique, mais globalement ça parait compliqué de rattacher ces français à quelque chose d'existant. Une musique très personnelle, des ambiances magiques : si ces seuls critères te parlent, alors fonce.
[4 out of 5]

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DEATH GRIND FREAK
Review by DeathGrindFreak

One 40 minute track that brings to mind everyone from Mercyful Fate, Paradise Lost, Hooded Menace, Cathedral and Candlemass, with blackened passages, beautifully acoustic interludes and synthesizers adding an occult overtone to the whole affair, Ysengrin have crafted an album that brings to mind everything that was great about metal in the 80's and 90's while adding a distinctive modern flair. There are recurring themes throughout the album that create an overall coherence similar to a piece of classical music. The vocals are primarily growled but its the riffs and solos that steal the show. They draw upon the NWOBHM, doom, black metal and death metal. They have a classic feel to them amd will claw their way into your subconscious and leave you wanting more. Not once did I ever get bored while listening, in fact once its over i usually hit repeat. They dont use the long track as a gimmick but as a way to introduce themes and pull you in. Just check it out for your self. Trust me when i tell you that this will be on my best of list this year. Its an incredible album that effortlessly blends genres without ever feeling forced. Get a copy from I, Voidhanger.

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METALLIAN
Review by Laurent Lignon

J'ai déjà parlé en ces pages de tout le bien que je pensais de ce groupe français et une fois de plus, Ysengrin arrive à me surprendre. Proposant un unique morceau de quarante minutes au travers duquel se croisent black, death, doom, occultisme et influences médiévales, To Endotaton est aussi inclassable et original qu'il est magnifiquement agencé. Une belle réussite, un groupe à suivre.
[4,5 out of 6]

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ZERO TOLERANCE
[Issue 049 - October/November 2012]
Review by Geoff Birchenall

Zut alors! After a solid-if-unspectacular sophomore album in Tragedies - Liber Hermetis, this group of Normands (the Northmen of France, with Viking ancestry) have delivered an album so far above expectations that it will catch many off guard. To Endotaton is a sprawling, single track of an album with a sound that has been billed as 'hermetic dark metal', but in real terms is a more technical cross between early Paradise Lost, Disembowelment, the occult edge of Death SS, and early Rotting Christ. There is so much to admire, starting with the brilliant artwork by Turkka G. Rantanen (Demigod, Adramelech, Demilich) and carrying on with an atmosphere that simply emanates from the music, rather than being created or strived for, right through to the composition itself, which manages to be vital and energetic enough to stave off ennu for the 40-odd minutes of the song/album. The album concept is fascinating, focusing as it does on an initiation ceremony taking place in a dark, deep cavern, representing a spiritual journey to the recesses of the soul. Those seeking a release that is the antithesis of the hordes of rushed, under-composed albums that plague the underground will find solace and inspiration here.
[4,5 out of 6]

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LACERATED METAL ZINE
Review by Lacerated Arthalos

To me, the number of French bands that I have relative reverence for is very, very few. Even considering all the bands from the dawn of time as far as metal is concerned, there were only a couple of acts which were able to capture my attention, including the death/thrash massacre Massacra, and few more similar OSDM groups which proved somewhat emergent only during the early 90's, and other than that handful of crude extremes, there's only the current blossoming post/ambient black metal chorus that I eschew from listening, but had a sort of alarming impact on me. With members from the fascinating atmospheric black metal cogitation Darkenhold, Ysengrin, one of my more latter discoveries, completely varying from the fellow countrymen, have injected an addicting hermetic drug into my veins which I can't seem to cleanse myself of; the group formulates a mercurial enigma of death, black and doom, and even more surprising is that they don't deliberately eschew whatever archaic tendencies these three genres have, and throw them into their own, enigmatic concoction which boasts of some of the most refreshing, somber metal I've heard in a long while.
From the very start, ''To Endotaton'' constantly fabricates, intense, almost delusional majestic blackened death/doom, if you want to classify that simply. The entire album is a single, cavernous forty-minute journey into mysterious and occult harmony, the album's innumerable characteristics showing with color and epitomized pulchritude, and this constantly flowing tree of veins always keeps ample provisions of atmospheric deepness, adding a mesmerizing undertone to its eloquent furnace, burning with a calm but fervent fire. Eventually, due to the album's many faces, there will be many who will dub it something else, since, the listener is inflected by whatever attribute has 
[90 out of 100]

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CHRONICLES OF CHAOS
Review by Chaim Drishner

I, Voidhanger is definitely one of the rising forces in today's underground music; a label that is time and again offering quality releases music-wise, as well as being aesthetically conscious, offering the best possible value in terms of final product's artwork, packaging and all other aspects of production, sonic or otherwise. Ysengrin's third full-length effort is by no means an exception.
Ysengrin, despite hailing from France, have adopted -- at least on _To Endotaton_ -- a very Italian sound; a dark, muddy, basic approach to metal, where the fundamentals of heavy metal, death, doom and black metal flirt with each other, packed tightly together by a mist of esoteric, occult sound. In that regard, _To Endotaton_ is not unlike the typical Italian sound represented by quality acts such as Opera IX, Abysmal Grief or Mortuary Drape.
A slow to mid-paced heavy metal backbone is complemented by half-muffled growls that add a certain wretched quality to the music, which is, in essence, very melodic, exercising captivating waves of simple riffs coupled with minimal keyboard work and sparse acoustic guitar interludes to which the aforementioned death-like deep vocals add another dimension of mystical left-hand practice. A sinister offering, aptly designed and magically engineered, the metallic baseline here is affected by Middle Eastern-esque innuendos a la Slayer's _South of Heaven_, and almost generic heavy metal clichés similar to Iron Maiden's; but when summing it up, swallowing the whole of this musical product, the concoction does sound fresh and rewarding.
_To Endotaton_ is as bizarrely sounding as it is mundane; its simplicity collides with the many virtuous inner manoeuvres. Although not the most challenging musical beast out there, this album binds past and present, history and futuristic aspirations for the genre, esoteric inclinations and bland familiarity together, resulting in tight, almost flawless, a musical product that will likely cause as much pleasure to the next listener as it has to the writer of these very lines.
This is, in any way you wish to look at it, another quality product courtesy of I, Voidhanger Records. It will awaken nostalgia at the hearts of the veterans among you and educate younger generations about the greatness of the metal movement; its past, its present and probably also where it's headed in the near future. These metallic bloodlines and timelines are all represented in _To Endotaton_; all you need to do is listen!

[7,5 out of 10]

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FULL METAL ATTORNEY
Review by Kelly Hoffart

A year ago, I reviewed Tragedies – Liber Hermetis, the second album from the French band Ysengrin. It was fairly unremarkable death/doom with some blackened influence, but had such excellent production that it was well worth listening anyway. Their new record doesn’t even sound like the work of the same band, despite the fact they’ve had no lineup changes.
To Endotaton is not produced nearly as well, though it’s by no means a poor job. This time, it's the production that's unremarkable. The music, on the other hand, is much more interesting. Instead of death/doom, this time around it’s mostly a dark sort of heavy/doom metal, with some very cool heavy metal riffs. The vocals are still death growls, with the occasional spoken/chanted piece (mixed a bit too loud). There are other things at play here, such as the keyboard which sounds as if it were manned partly by King Diamond and partly by John Carpenter, some bluesy guitar noodling in one part, and the black/Viking metal section at the end.
The music has far more variety than its predecessor. The mix of styles is compelling, and the riffs are far more memorable. However, that contrasts with how they’ve packaged it. The record is a single 40 minute track, the implication being that it is a single song. That’s partly true; there is an extremely compelling riff that they do come back to several times. But mostly it’s disconnected pieces that, while cohesive enough as an album, don’t really sound like the same song. There is a clear break in the music halfway through, and the last five minutes are definitely not the same song.
The incredibly long single-song gimmick is tolerable when it’s genuine, as with some of Corrupted’s or Rorcal’s work. But even classical symphonies tend to be separated into more digestible movements. When it’s really and truly a gimmick, as here, it detracts quite a bit from the experience.
In the long run, though, you can split it into 4 smaller pieces when you put it in your music library. Might I suggest breaks around 11:28, 20:15, and 34:12. And it really is quite the good listen.
[4 out of 5]

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STEREO INVADERS
Review by Thiess

Terzo passaggio, di un viaggio iniziato nel 2005, da parte dei Francesi Ysengrin. “To Endotaton” è un full-lenght composto da un’unica traccia di esoterico Doom. La veste di cui si fregiano i nostri è un polveroso telo di matrice anni Settanta, saio di iuta dalle piaghe sofferte. Molta la polvere che si alza, tanti i ricordi smossi per chi adora questo tipo di sonorità. Vaghe evocazioni di Death e Black Metal diventano citazioni di estremismo ancora primordiale nei toni. Tanta Old School, in un’ambientazione non del tutto monolitica e pressante, come spesso il filone richiede. Alcune ripartenze ci riportano alla mente il Rock delle radici Doom, il tutto accigliato da un comparto vocale sempre ringhiante. Niente viene rivoluzionato, ma le strutture e le melodie hanno un non so che di estatico, così da rendere fruibili delle note non sempre accessibili ed apprezzabili da chiunque.
[7 out of 10]

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CROSSFIRE METAL
Review by Daniel Müller

Ysengrin ist ein Trio aus Frankreich, das sich 2005 gründete und es bereits auf drei Alben gebracht hat. Das neue dritte Album trägt den Titel “To Endotaton”, welcher auch der Titelsong ist. Moment mal: Titelsong? Ich fühle mich an “Crimson” von Edge Of Sanity erinnert. Denn da war es genauso wie hier: Es gibt nur einen Song zu hören. Der ist dafür aber 40 (!) Minuten lang. So viel Geld wie die erwähnten Schweden haben die Franzmänner allerdings nicht auftreiben können. Die Produktion ist etwas dünn, was aber gut zur düsteren Atmosphäre des Albums beiträgt. Hier gibt es einige Rhythmuswechsel und viele coole Riffs zu hören. Doomige Passagen sind auch auszumachen. Der Gesang ist auch variabel. Es gibt Gegrunze, Gegurgel, Geflüster, Mönchsgesang, alles dabei. Die Gitarrenarbeit ist solide, einige schöne Leads haben sich auch eingeschlichen. Der Schlagzeuger spielt nicht nur gerade Rhythmen, sondern benutzt auch viel seine Toms. “To Endotaton” ist ein mystisches, düsteres Werk, das zwar den viel zitierten “Charme des Unfertigen” hat, aber gerade dadurch Punkte einfährt. Das Album kann man angenehm nebenbei hören, ohne dass etwas störend wird. Und von der Atmosphäre her fühle ich mich auch an einige Griechencombos erinnert. Wie gesagt, etwas gewöhnungsbedürftig ist es zwar schon, aber trotzdem durchweg gut. Das Gesamtwerk als Ganzes zu erschließen ist nicht ganz einfach. Von Ohrwurmcharakter kann man auch nicht gerade sprechen. Aber Ysengrin haben es definitiv verdient, Aufmerksamkeit zu bekommen!
[8 out of 10]

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ARISTOCRAZIA
Review by Mourning

Il monicker Ysengrin non rappresenta solo una formazione, gli Ysengrin sono l'incarnazione in tutto e per tutto di ciò che è l'artista Guido Saint Roch e il francese ce l'aveva già dimostrato nel 2011 tirando fuori un gioiellino intitolato "Tragedies - Liber Hermetis" che divenne uno fra i miei ascolti più frequenti sin da subito.
È passato un anno ed ecco che ho la fortuna di poter scrivere del successore di quel secondo capitolo, il transalpino ha mirato ancora più in alto, complicandosi la vita e riversando la sua fatica compositiva in un'unica traccia di quaranta minuti.
L'espediente non è di certo nuovo ma nel tempo sappiamo bene come abbia regalato sia capolavori, il classico dei classici rimane "Crimson" degli Edge Of Sanity, che aborti dei quali avremmo fatto volentieri a meno con grandissimo piacere, si vedano gli Impiety di quell'inutile mattone che è "Worshippers Of The Seventh Tyranny", cosa sarà capace di offrire "To Endotaton"? Scopriamolo. Muoversi nel mondo di Guido non è per nulla semplice, nel booklet noto la presenza di una prima triade di parole in latino: "theoria practica harmonia", a cosa si riferirà? Cerco e ricerco su Google provando a dare un senso e l'unico risultato che penso possa avere un'affinità con il lavoro è quello legato alla "Filosofia Della Musica Nel Medioevo", direte perché proprio questo? Perché scrutando i testi appare un appiglio seppur flebile, in due circostanze compaiono infatti citazioni dantesche a chiusura di di due strofe:

"ed ecco il loco ove convien che di fortezza t'armi"

è tratta dall'ultimo capitolo dell'Inferno, il canto trentesimoquarto v.20/21, mentre

"Correte al monte a spogliarvi lo scoglio ch'esser non lascia a voi Dio manifesto"

dal secondo canto del Purgatorio v.122/123; che anche la frase "ex ipso et per ipsvm et in ipso" (da questo e per questo e in questo) sia collegata a quel periodo? I malandati ricordi di temi ecclesiastici porrebbero tale pensiero all'interno dell'uso liturgico per la "Santa Messa" ma su questo potrei essere in errore, è però certo che in quel periodo non esistevano altre forme se non il latino per recitarla.
E da quell'antica lingua a un panorama ancor più antico e storicamente importante, quello che fu la culla della civiltà, il testo scorre e scorre e incrocio il nome Hylas, che conosciamo come Iolao, lo storico compagno d'avventure di Ercole il semi-dio greco figlio di Zeus e Alcmene e allora il discendere, l'acqua, gli Inferi potrebbero essere legati alla seconda fatica nella quale l'eroe uccide l'Hydra di Lerna? Guido parla però anche di portare la sua croce, e la croce sia come simbolo che come costellazione, insieme alla stella Sole e a tanti altri elementi del panorama astrale, nel corso dei millenni è stata collegata a divinità assai più importanti e considerate in primis il figlio del Dio cristiano Gesù Cristo (non perché il più meritevole, solo perché il più noto) e allora qual è la verità che ci racconta? Leggete e provate a interpretare.
Ora immaginate di immettere questa miriade d'informazioni su una base musicale che cambia costantemente, interpretandole si modella sia per evocazione, sia per carattere raggiungendo una forma adatta ad assecondare la narrazione, abbiamo di tutto, da passaggi heavy e thrash ad aperture doom, da richiami che evidentemente attingono in zona black a fraseggi rimarcanti il death, varia lo è di sicuro.
"To Endotan" è ricco di misticismo, di motivazioni ancestrali e percorre ancora una volta un sentiero che si dirama in diverse direzioni, che sprofonda talmente tanto da arrivare al punto di riaffiorare in superficie mostrandosi alla luce, è uno scontro fra psichedelia ridondante, fraseggi ripetuti che l'inconscio potrebbe apprendere come un ritornello e un affrontare di petto temi quali l'esoterismo e il passato dell'uomo attraverso una simbologia sia da guardare che da ascoltare.
Avrete la pazienza e la costanza di (almeno) tentare di entrarvi in contatto? Ci vogliono tempo e perseveranza, l'ascolto deve perdurare nello stereo in modo da poter essere sviscerato. A quanto pare oltre alla presenza vocale del mastermind, di Aboth (Darkenhold) alla batteria e Aldebaran (Ahorlac) alla chitarra e strumentazione medievali, sono presenti anche M degli Opera IX, già partecipe nel precedente lavoro, Scars dei Christicide e Yainnis dei Serpent Noir, quest'ultimi sarebbero da seguire anche nelle rispettive e interessanti band, ad arricchire un "To Endotaton" che si candida a soggiornare per un bel po' nello stereo. Siete di quelli che si lamentano usando frasi del tipo "oggi il metal è pieno di musica per cazzoni e ciuffi emo", "non ci sono più le formazioni che possiedono l'attitudine giusta" e "perché non si da mai importanza ai testi"? Bene, gli Ysengrin sono ciò che cercate, hanno tutto ciò che desiderate, sta a voi adesso dare prova che un disco simile è realmente ciò che volete, in caso contrario avrete solo sprecato fiato per anni e si sa, a lamentarsi son buoni tutti, a vivere e crescere con ciò che si dice d'amare no.

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HEAVY WORLDS
Review by Giulio Valeri

Terzo disco per i francesi Ysengrin ad opera della nostrana I Voidhanger Records, che sembra non sbagliare un colpo, mettendo sotto contratto un altro gruppo di buona qualità.
Album impegnativo questo “To Endotadon”: si tratta infatti di un'opera che mette a dura prova anche l'ascoltatore più esperto, sottoponendolo a una sola traccia di quaranta minuti, in cui viene narrato un rito iniziatico che ha luogo nei meandri di una grotta.
Le nostre orecchie saranno quindi testimoni di ispirati passaggi acustici, granitici riff di chitarra dai ritmi coinvolgenti, ipnotizzanti ed efficaci linee di basso, voci cavernose, un lavoro dietro le pelli di tutto rispetto, e piccoli inserti di tastiera che contribuiscono a impreziosire il lavoro con scelte sonore ricercate.
Il basso in particolare, sempre in evidenza, si rende protagonista di alcuni episodi degni di nota. Impossibile non citare le sorprese che ci riserva lo strumento in questione verso il ventinovesimo minuto, dove si avventura in divertentissime slappate.
Da segnalare anche il buon lavoro della chitarra che sul volgere del trentatreesimo minuto si esibisce in un assolo che rende omaggio ai Pink Floyd di “The Wall”.
Notevoli sono anche alcuni soluzioni di batteria, che intrattiene con ottimi fill dall'inizio fino alla fine del disco.
C'è da dire che nonostante il sound del gruppo sia fortemente influenzato da orgogli nazionali del calibro di Mortuary Drape e Abysmal Grief, il terzetto francese riesce comunque a fare della varietà stilistica un suo punto di forza, senza porsi eccessive limitazioni creative. Si strizza quindi l'occhio al prog degli anni settanta fino ad arrivare addirittura sfuriate black con tanto di blast beat sul finire del brano, senza perdere minimamente in coerenza con quanto proposto.
L'unico difetto (un vizio di forma, più che un difetto vero e proprio) che sembra affliggere quest'opera  è la discutibile, seppur coraggiosa, decisione di proporre quaranta minuti di musica in una sola traccia, senza convincenti giustificazioni. Cesure tra quelli che dovrebbero essere gli ipotetici brani si sentono eccome, e una divisione in tracce avrebbe contribuito a rendere l'ascolto molto più agevole e digeribile.
“To Endotaton” è sicuramente un lavoro dagli alti standard qualitativi, che premierà con buona musica tutti coloro che avranno la pazienza di ascoltarlo. Sarà apprezzato soprattutto da chi predilige quei gruppi capaci di dare un tocco “vintage”alla propria proposta, e gli Ysengrin in questo senso la sanno lunga. Per pochi eletti.
[7,5 out of 10]

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IN YOUR EYES
Review by Stefano Cavanna

Ascoltare un disco e scoprire che contiene una sola traccia di oltre quaranta minuti di solito è un tutt’uno col pensare a generi come il prog o, al limite, il funeral doom, ma sicuramente viene meno spontanea l’associazione con il dark metal proposto dai francesi Ysengrin, giunti con “To Endotaton” al loro terzo full-length.
La definizione di dark metal d’altro canto si rivela piuttosto vaga, ma è l’unica possibile che consenta di racchiudere al suo interno i diversi passaggi che fanno indistintamente riferimento a tutti i sottogeneri conosciuti dell’heavy metal.
Quella che può sembrare un azzardo, se non addirittura un atto di presunzione, si rivela dopo i necessari e ripetuti ascolti un’operazione azzeccata e, sopratutto, lontana da soluzioni particolarmente cervellotiche o votate all’esibizione di tecnica fine a se stessa. Al contrario, il sound degli Ysengrin è costantemente rivolto alla ricerca di suoni essenziali, se vogliamo quasi primitivi, ma contemporaneamente in grado di colpire l’ascoltatore tenendolo avvinghiato al lunghissimo brano per tutta la sua durata.
Così tra rimandi al metal di matrice esoterica (Death SS, Mercyful Fate), passaggi sperimentali e più rallentati ai confini col doom, sfuriate di stampo thrash e una voce che alterna growl, screaming (prevalentemente in lingua madre) e passaggi recitati (alcuni in un italiano con una pronuncia “rivedibile”), il lavoro sorprende per la sua profondità nonostante i primi ascolti facciano presupporre il contrario per l'apparente semplicità del sound.
Linearità ed essenzialità che non sono sinonimo di sciatteria e banalità, anzi: nella sua intera durata il brano è soggetto a diversi cambi di tempo, passaggi da momenti più rocciosi ad arpeggi acustici e riff incisivi che si ripresentano ciclicamente facendo da collegamento tra le varie parti. “To Endotaton” si rivela, quindi, la colonna sonora perfetta per il concept, incentrato su un rito iniziatico che si svolge all’interno di una caverna, creato dalla mente di Guido Saint Roch. Gran bel lavoro e altro centro per la label nostrana I, Voidhanger.
[7 out of 10]

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FROM THE DUST RETURNED
Review by Autothrall

My first exposure to the French Ysengrin, To Endotaton is a daunting, 40 minute, single track excursion into darkness which fuses numerous genres into an appreciable whole. Normally, I muster some degree of apprehension towards such swollen compositions. So few truly master this aspirations with balance and conviction, save for the rare exceptions like Sabbat's The Dwelling; many seem to simply merge a number of disparate movements into one sum, and to some degree I felt the same of To Endotaton. Clearly there are places throughout this piece which could have been rendered down into separate suites, without a sacrifice in concept or quality, but I must say that its format is perhaps the sole tangible detriment to what is otherwise a fantastic album, something I suspected after browsing the band's present roster, which is culminated from the ranks of other strong acts like Darkenhöld, whose 2010 debut A Passage to the Towers... was excellent, atmospheric black metal.
Ysengrin's primary motif would be rooted in the death/doom aesthetic, with a lot of slow to mid paced, lurching palm muted riffs redolent of Black Sabbath, My Dying Bride or Paradise Lost slathered in a massive guttural growl. Think Hooded Menace meets Candlemass and you're somewhere near the right ballpark, but the Frenchmen also incorporate variation in the form of pure old school death and black metal breaks, not to mention some wicked, straight heavy/doom riffs that erupt into sheer headbanging pleasure. Beyond that, there are beautiful passages of classically-inflected clean guitars, backing synthesizers and organs set up sparsely at just the right joints in the album's framework to intensify its exotic, morbid and soul sucking affectations. As I hinted above, there are certain obvious areas throughout "To Endotaton" in which one feels almost like a new track is beginning, only the incremental pauses have been removed, but that's not to say that there isn't a unified pace and theme throughout, with a lot of cohesive, steady drums and slower paced guitar patterns that flow very well into one another. A few of the transitions are breaks in the drums where a faster paced guitar will start ringing off, soon joined by the rest of the band, but otherwise it's a smooth course of action, an ebbing tide of sadness and crushing weight.
Even better, they've written some superb riffs which will doubtless turn the heads of many listening, regardless of whether their primary poison is death, doom or black metal; To Endotaton was obviously the labor of men who wished to mete out equal portions of melody, suffering and heaviness, and they set it all up with such a broad and bright production that you can experience every spellbinding note procession without straining yourself. One of my favorite performances here was the bass, which grooves along at a brighter, curving contrast to the thicker guitars, creating an ambivalent sense of progressive/psychedelia that really adds a lot to the otherwise simple, funereal riffing; but in general, all of the guitars and synthesizers are eerie and effective. The guttural vocals are the natural fit to the varied musical substrate, though they rarely vary in pitch or formula, but this shouldn't prove a problem for fanatics of decades of death/doom cohabitation. In the end, this is seasoned, carefully composed music which endures in the memory well after the finals notes resonate unto oblivion. Would it have been better if split into 4-5 individual components (their older albums took were comprised of numerous tunes)? Perhaps, but apart from that one criticism, this is another outstanding French band. A spellbinding, atmospheric success for I, Voidhanger. An easily recommended escape.
[8.75 out of 10]

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PURE GRAIN RADIO
Review by Curtis Dewar

This album by France's Ysengrin is not something that will appeal to everyone. In fact, I would even dare to guess it won't go very far in the underground. Frankly this is one of those rare bands that are so far off the beaten path that people will either love it, or hate it.
The record consists of one, yes one, 40 minute long track that fluctuates between rock and metal and has some interesting death metal vocals thrown into the mix. It's an intense experience with some nice guitar solos making for a very immersive song. I personally tend to avoid "epic", lengthy tracks such as this, as they tend to get boring as they wander off into excess. This isn't the case here at all. The music is well-written and so well performed that the minutes seem to fly by. Do yourself a favor and check these guys out for something quite a bit different from what you would normally listen to.
[8 out of 10]

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AVE NOCTUM
Review by Jodi Michael

Helping to permeate the heat of this disgusting American summer as of late has been France’s Ysengrin, who are apparently versed at the art of chilling bones through song.  Please note the singular use of the word song here, as Ysengrin’s latest offering, To Endotaton, is comprised of just one 40-minute song.  As unappealing as that usually sounds (unless you’re a big fan of droning dirges or prog freak-outs), To Endotaton is actually an engaging release with thick roots stemming from various genres.
Ysengrin brand their music as hermetic metal, which is fitting, as an air of occult rituals performed in forgotten caves lingers over To Endotaton.  A primitive backdrop inlaid with flecks of doom, black, death, folk, trad and prog blankets the album’s lone track.  Stylistic changes and moods within “To Endotaton” fluctuate regularly, though nothing strays too far from the core of the tune.  The guts of the song (and, subsequently, album) morph fluidly from eerie doom to ghastly death, flirt with odd progressive sections, then begin to fester in depressive blackened spots before coming full circle.  It seems that revelations of sorts seem to come about in increments during the course of “To Endaton,” as the track will shift a bit toward a less chaotic and more serene atmosphere at times, with some of the more gruff riffing/drumming pieces being laid to rest, while at other times the harsh elements of the track are reprised, completing a cycle.
Being previously unfamiliar with Ysengrin, it’s hard to say how To Endotaton stacks up when compared to its predecessor, Tragedies – Liber Hermetis, though the impression given is that the atmosphere created within To Endotaton has been nurtured and cultivated for quite some time.  Music possessing those esoteric qualities usually doesn’t come to fruition quickly.  Here’s hoping that the lads in Ysengrin will keep up the good work for years to come.
[7 out of 10]

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DAMNED BY LIGHT
Review by M

I wasn't previously familiar with the French band Ysengrin, but I guess that's not a big wonder despite "To Endotaton" being already their third full-length. The album presents forty minutes of lightly psychedelic goth rock with a retro-doom sound, and with a hint of dustiness and heaviness of '90s death metal - and the harsh and growled vocals strengthen this last notion. Yet, behind everything lies black metal. It's quite an unconventional mixture in these days, and makes it even more surprising that the song actually functions. The digital promo included no booklet nor lyrics, thus they won't be commented.
After the more rocking and freely flowing beginning, at nine minutes the song begins to sound more like thrashing proto-black metal - but later it again manifests influences from goth to vintage psychedelic doom, and from some acoustic parts to close to sludge. Everything is tied together by the vintage soundscape that erases the guitars' harshest edges and gives the lighter parts a nice softness. The soundscape also makes the massive piece an easy but very pleasing one for the ears, and makes the cliche horror-synths sound as they should.
Do note that the song has a brief silence and a switch from light psychedelia to heavier doom around the 20-minute mark to make this album function as a vinyl, too. This, along with the overall quality of riffs and the great sense of style that's brought this mixture of genres together, shows how much thought and effort has gone into creating this album. It's bold and experimental, but with style. The song doesn't sound like a bundle of ten different songs because of the stylish and at times unnoticeable transitions from one style and riff to another, and because some of the "themes" reappearing every now and then during the track's length.
The vocal section doesn't steal attention from the riffs, but moreso serves as a dramatic add. Some quest vocalists deliver cleaner chants and different types of growls depending whether the atmosphere is light or dramatically building, and overall they fit in rather well. The sturdy and nicely oldschool bass-sound does wonders to the songs and their feel, too.
This album is both a bold and successful one. It just didn't manage to create the wow-effect I would've hoped for when noting the possibilities for experimentation and dramatic builds a 40-minute track allows by default. Perhaps seeing and knowing the lyrics would've helped?
Other than that it's a good, solid, well executed and -composed album that isn't a heavy listen despite its structure. Very recommended for fans of occult heavy metal and experimental black metal.
[8+ out of 10]

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SEA OF TRANQUILLITY
Review by
Kim Jensen

The style of music presented on this album is referred to as "hermetic dark metal", and the collective of musicians that make up the band Ysengrin goes by the name of "La Guilde de la Malabeste". Oh, and the album contains just one song which is over forty minutes long. I guess that, already by now, the reader expects this to go in two directions: either the review will berate the album and the musicians calling them pretentious charlatans hiding behind fake labels or it will praise the musicians for their originality and artistic approach to music.
So, what will it be?
Kack or killer?
Well, I have to say that it is killer. It is really killer. The song might be over forty minutes of length but Ysengrin really pull it off brilliantly. It contains several moves and changes – passages and sequences -, taking you through a variety of dark moods, and features a couple of reprised themes to keep it all together. Stylistically, the song draws on death metal, black metal, doom metal, a bit of primitive thrash metal, heavy metal and hard rock, and there are even a couple of acoustic sections.
So, the music is very varied and indeed progressive, but it never comes across as being overly technical. It is more a matter of building up moods and experimenting with the interplay between these. One thing, however, that is not very varied, is the vocals. This being ultimately based on different types of extreme metal, the vocals are harsh, in this case a very gravely type of growling, which – I must admit – does not really appeal to me. It does stop this album from being a musically and artistically very successful release.
So, if you have forty minutes to spare and want to listen to some expressive – epic yet dark – heavy metal with plenty of variation and interesting textures, then you should explore the piece of art that is Ysengrin's To Endotaton.
[4 out of 5]

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METAL MUSIC ARCHIVES
Review by Time Signature

Labeled by the band as hermetic dark metal, the music of Ysengrin, at least on this album, is considerably eclectic, containing elements of death metal, doom metal, gothic metal, black metal, thrash metal and even some more traditional heavy metal.
And this is a blend that works incredibly well, as the forty-minute sole song found on the album takes the listener through various metal music landscapes, from melodic upbeat riffs over slow and heavy doom-laden passages to black metal-styled blastbeating. To this you can add chucking Celtic Frost-ish riffage and other primitive black-thrash moves, and there is even a slightly funky acoustic section towards the end.
A song of forty minutes can easily get boring, but that does not happen here, as Ysengrin manage to stuff a lot of variation into the composition with cleverly placed changes of tempo, style and atmosphere and breakdowns and build-ups. Musically, I would say that this is a very well put together epic track, which never gets boring. I am not a big fan of the husky whisper-like growled vocals, and I think that a more varied vocal style would have done the album more favors, but I can see how Guido Saint Roch's growls on this album contribute to the overall dark atmosphere.
Not all metal bands can pull off doing a 40-minute song, but Ysengrin do it successfully on "To Endotaton", and anyone who is up for a dark journey through the world of metal should jump on for the ride. It is indeed a very well put together track.
[4 out of 5]

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LA HORDE NOIRE
Review by Childéric Thor

Autrefois fantasme d'une poignée d'explorateurs, essentiellement issus du moule progressif, cela fait bien longtemps maintenant que graver un album composé d'un seul titre ne fait plus peur à personne et surtout pas aux modestes artisans de l'underground. Après tout, il n'est pas plus difficile d'écrire une (très) longue compo qu'un hymne où tout est résumé en 4 minutes chrono en main. Non, par contre, écrire un BON titre l'est bien davantage. On pourrait penser qu'il faut tout de même en avoir des grosses pour tenter le relever un défi synonyme, même lorsqu'il est atteint, de suicide commercial.
Mais YSENGRIN, encore peu connu malgré déjà sept ans d'existence, deux opuscules et deux splits, dont le dernier partagé avec AORLHAC, DARKENHÖLD et OSSUAIRE, n'a pas ce problème là. Bénéficiant d'une totale liberté que lui confère la confidentialité de sa rénommée et de l'appui de ATMF via sa sous division I, Voidhanger, qu'il a préféré à De Profundis qui était pourtant fait pour lui, le groupe, formé de musiciens qui trainent depuis quelques années déjà au sein de la chapelle noire hexagonale, se lance donc tranquillement et non sans une certaine réussite dans cet exercie O combien casse-gueule. Le résultat est ce To Endotaton, piste de 40 minutes de prime abord pas toujours aisée à cerner en cela que sur un socle plutôt Doom seventies s'érige un tertre aux arcanes Black Metal. Le rythme est lent, envoûtant parfois, ce qui n'empêche pas le morceau d'être traversé par de nombreux passages, certains (relativement) plus rapides.
Ambiances gothiques à l'italienne (façon DEATH SS), tapissées par des claviers d'un sombre liturgie, chant caverneux ou plus solannel, guitares rugueuses où suinte les racines ténébreuses d'YSENGRIN et lignes de basse véloces se conjuguent sans jamais ennuyer, quand bien même la seconde partie se révèle plus intéressante, le groupe parvenant à échapper au piège fâcheux de l'assemblage maladroit de segments mis bout à bout pour atteindre la durée requise. On passe de soli mélodiques à des arpèges acoustiques, de lourdes reptations à l'accélération finale très Black et tout n'y est pas maîtrisé, notamment la prise de son un peu rèche, cependant que fait défaut à cette néanmoins ambitieuse composition davantage de liant, ce qui lui aurait permis de gommer ses atours abruptes.
Mais les Français s'en sortent avec les honneurs et non pas à rougir de la comparaison avec d'autres plus connus qu'eux qui se sont également aventuré sur ce chemin le temps d'un album, comme cela fut le cas de Impiety par exemple qu'on n'imaginait pourtant pas à cette sauce. To Endotaton leur offrira-t-ils le césame vers une reconnaissance accrue et méritée ? L'avenir nous le dira...

[7 out of 10]

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HATEFUL METAL
Review by Aceust

To Endotaton ist das dritte Album des französischen Trios YSENGRIN. To Endotaton heißt auch das einzige Lied der CD und ist 40 Minuten lang. Den Stil den YSENGRIN spielen kann man nur schwer in Worten beschreiben, da sie sich vieler unterschiedlicher Elemente und Einflüsse bedienen. Am schwersten wiegt aber wohl der Einfluss des griechischen Black Metals der 90iger Jahre. Gesanglich, atmosphärisch und auch melodisch erinnert To Endotaton immer wieder an Gruppen wie VARATHRON oder auch NECROMASS aus Italien. YSENGRIN beschreiben ihren Stil selbst als „Hermetic Dark Metal“. Düster ist das Album allemal. Aber auch unheimlich, bizarr und grotesk. Das überlange Lied beinhaltet sehr viel Abwechslung, zum Teil in Richtung Death Metal gehend, andernorts doomig und zwischendurch immer wieder griechisch. Mir gefällt diese Ähnlichkeit zu den genannten Bands sehr gut, da ich sie seit vielen Jahren schätze und es großartig finde, dass es heutzutage eine Gruppe gibt, die deren alten Stil aufgreift. Trotz dieser Einflüsse sind und bleiben YSENGRIN sehr eigenständig. Auch wenn es nur ein einzelnes Lied gibt, hat man nicht den Eindruck auch tatsächlich nur ein Lied zu hören. Die 40 Minuten sind quasi in verschiedene Kapitel unterteilt, und so hat man durchaus das Gefühl, verschiedene Lieder vorgespielt zu bekommen.
Mich begeistert das Werk. Es besitzt gute Harmonien, die düster und packend sind. Es hat den düsteren und bizarren Geist eben jener Bands an die man hier erinnert wird und es gibt viel zu entdecken. Wer NECROMASS, VARATHRON oder auch MORTUARY DRAPE mag, kann hier absolut bedenkenlos zugreifen!
[8 out of 10]

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HORNS UP
Review by Silver

Chi vuole conoscere una band dalla fredda normandia dedita al Metal estremo e oscuro? Chi? Gli Ysengrin, band nata nel 2005 e con alle spalle parecchi lavori: l’album di debutto “T.R.I.A.D.E” del 2008, lo split album “Ars Magna Moriendi” del 2009, i due demo del 2010 (“Archivum MMV-MMX” e “Alchimite”), lo split album “La Maisniee du Maufe – A Tribute to the Dark Ages”, l’album “Tragedies – Liber Hermetis” del 2011 e l’album che oggi recensirò, cioè “To Endotaton” del 2012.
Cosa ci propone la band? Un Black-Death Metal fortemente contaminato dal Doom: growl su riff Black, sulla lenta trama del Doom e dalla sezione ritmica colossale.
Prima di continuare la recensione voglio dirvi una cosa, qui c’è un qualcosa di particolare, di certo non sarà l’unica band ad aver scelto di comportarsi così ma è difficile da trovare: l’album è composto solamente da un brano di 40 minuti, per l’appunto intitolato “To Endotaton”, ma si ha la sensazione di sentire più brani.
La proposta non è particolarmente noiosa, forse l’idea di avere a che fare con un’unica traccia può spaventare i meno pazienti ma tranquilli, l’unico fastidio che può darvi è che se volete sentire un pezzo particolare della traccia dovete andare avanti col lettore. E’ una proposta poco scontata, carina, nulla di estremamente eccezionale, non vi farà gridare al miracolo ma è piacevole.
Ovviamente non vi indicherò i brani che spiccano di più dato che c’è n’è uno solo. Ho detto tutto, posso conculdere: in poche parole è una proposta adatta agli amanti del Doom più estremo. Promosso e consigliato agli amanti del genere.
[7 out of 10]

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METALLUS
Review by Andrea Sacchi

“To Endotaton” è la terza opera sulla lunga distanza dei francesi Ysengrin, un lavoro che riassume l’essenza sonora dell’act transalpino, una miscela tra doom metal e black melodico raccolto in un’unica suite di oltre quaranta minuti. Da un punto di vista musicale “To Endotaton” appare chiaramente ispirato dagli act di metal esoterico più popolari (possiamo citare i primi Death SS, Necromass e Mortuary Drape come principali fonti di influenza) e nella sua durata bilancia con disinvoltura sfaccettature vicine al doom anni ’80, con cupi rallentamenti e riff granitici, ma anche esplosioni di rabbia in chiave black, che spesso intervengono durante l’ascolto. Ecco dunque che “To Endotaton” vive di continui chiaroscuri, dettati da improvvisi break melodici che giungono a mitigare la facciata più squisitamente estrema. In tutto questo la voce di Saint Roch alterna ovviamente lo screaming al pulito mentre le concessioni alle tastiere donano una maggiore varietà alla release. Non dobbiamo aspettarci grandi sorprese ma il prodotto è assolutamente funzionale e possiamo consigliarlo senza indugi ai fruitori del panorama underground, anche alla luce delle liriche colte e sui generis. “To Endotaton”, basandosi ancora sulla leggendaria filosofia di Ermete Trismegisto, tratta infatti di un rituale iniziatico che si svolge nell’oscurità di una caverna, allegoria di come, attraverso le tenebre, l’illuminazione giunga all’adepto.
[6,5 out of 10]

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HARD SOUNDS
Review by Davide Montoro

Questa volta i francesi hanno preferito comporre un unica traccia, un po' come in passato hanno fatto tanti altri artisti e band. Basti pensare agli Edge Of Sanity, o più recentemente agli Aborym per il nuovo disco di prossima uscita. 'To Endotaton' è un lungo viaggio tra sonorità sinistre, metal estremo, e un tocco antico dato dagli strumenti si dice di origine medievale che vengono suonati al suo interno. Nella sua lunga durata abbiamo trovato particolarmente interessante soprattutto l'ultimo quarto d'ora, dove l'anima quasi psichedelica della band viene fuori. Con un secondo ascolto l'aver scelto di presentare il disco sottoforma di concept e un solo brano non sembra così necessaria, in ogni caso 'To Endotaton' scorre via bene, anche se non è un lavoro da ascoltare sempre, e soprattutto non per tutti.
[75 out of 100]

 

      


INTERVIEWS






ARISTOCRAZIA
Interview by Mourning

In Italian

In English:

Ysengrin, the wolf. Ysengrin, the creature of the French Guido Saint Roch released that the third album, we reviewed both of them, you'll find the articles about "Tragedies - Liber Hermetis" and the latest "To Endotaton". Now we'll know more about him.
Hi Guido and welcome on our website, since 2008 to now you had four years full of work, are you taking a break or already thinking about the future of Ysengrin?
Ciao! Well, I'm active since 97' in different bands, so it's not just since 2008 that my diary is quite full of work! I don't think I'm overactive, I'm just eager to release dark music. I don't have any idea for a new album in the future, and if we release a new one, it will take years to sure! For 2013, there will be a short recording for an ambitious project, but cannot say more on that for the moment.

Let's talk about how this project was born, which are the main points of it and how did you become part of this world?
Working alone, playing all the instruments, creating something obscure and mostly mid-tempo: a music between old Katatonia, Deinonychus, Swedish Black Metal... That was my original will.

I had the pleasure of writing about two of your works, "Tragedies - Liber Hermetis" which you sent me in 2011 and "To Endotaton" that I received from I, Voidhanger, the label who released it. In both the albums I noticed the passion for medieval times, what do you like of that obscure and sometimes forgotten era?
It's old and in my veins since so fucking many years. Some guys have the pleasure walking in an abandoned factory; on my side, I prefer to walk in castles, churches, cathedrals, medieval villages... Maybe it can be seen as a stupid childish worship of imagined time, but for me it's really not that and it's a part of my daily life. By the way, please note that both albums are not exclusively medieval even each one contain references to this era.

With "To Endotaton" you went even more back in the past with Greek mythology and symbols often linked to Christ (the Sun and the Cross) but which also identify many Gods. Are the answers we search for always in what has already been?
Hellenic religions speaks a lot to me, more than celtic or nordic religions for example. Maybe it's because my blood is definitely more mediterranean, but also because I'm still amazed by the beauty of the Roman/Hellenic ruins temple nowadays, and this since my childhood too. Anyway, your question is interesting and i reply to this yes, to go back in time is to find the point of departure, the "None-Time" (the Eternity) like Mircea Eliade said. He also wrote that: "To forget is the equivalent to sleep, and it's also the lost of the self, in fact the disorientation, the blindness (patch on the eyes)".

The two albums are deeply different in the structure, how did you compose them? Which are the basic points, both about the music and the lyrics, which you started from to give them a personal sound?
There is nothing static or written for ever in my music. I have the inspiration when playing to my instruments or reading books or anything! Some of the riffs in "Tragédies - Liber Hermetis" were pretty old, and "To Endotaton" is definitely more mature in every ways, to be lyrical or musical side. Lyrics are anyhow very important, and i try to put each riff in direct relation with the words... or the opposite obviously!

Why did you decide to put everything in one track?
Why not? Well, I love the "Crimson" album of Edge Of Sanity, it probably gave me an inspiration. It was also a challenge for me, and I think the result is interesting and personal.

How was the iconographical research for the artworks of your albums?
I always want to control the artworks as I do for the music. I give all the elements to the guys and then we work together to create the most suitable art for Ysengrin. I work a lot by myself too, for the inlay for example, but as I'm pretty shitty in drawing I cannot manage all alone!

At the times of "T.R.I.A.D.E" Ysengrin was a solo-project, now you have a full line-up, the first who became part of it was Aboth, then Kalevi and finally M., right? How was the collaboration with these musicians born and how much did they influence the evolution of Ysengrin?
No, Aboth is the only full-time member, together with Aldébaran. The first one joined on drums in 2009 for the recording of "Tragédies - Liber Hermetis". The second one joined us since 2010, for lead guitars and he also help me for keys. Their influences are huge, as both of them are very professional, and they totally understand what i want for each instrument. It's about technics without getting boring, fast at work and nice guys. Now the trinity of the Malebeste is full. Concerning Kalevi and M., there were both session musicians. Kalevi played lead guitars and medieval instruments on "Tragédies - Liber Hermetis", and it was an honour to have his skills on the album. Bloody Sign was definitely one of the best french DM band around! M. sang on both albums, as a guest too. I listen to Opera IX since a long time, it was my first metal contact with the (great) italian scene, together with Evol and Sadist.

In the last years I had some talks with Shaxhul (Anthennath) and Nathaniel (Resistance) on this website, and I also had some mail chat with Kalevi (I am still sad about the split-up of Bloody Sign) and Grief (Affliction Gate) in which I noticed the thick communication - connection among bands which allows you to work together in many times. So I ask myself: is there a real scene or are there only groups limited only to some bands? Like an elìte.
Honestly, i don't believe in a metal scene here in France. Maybe I'm too misanthropic, although it's sure there are some connections between guys from Death Metal, Black Metal, Doom scenes... Concerning a possible so-called elite, i have the same thoughts! The only thing I'm sure, is that Ysengrin is not for everybody, probably because it's not an easy listening, and our music is definitely for the taste of old bastard metalheads ahah!

Which are the limits of metal today? Its weak points and contradictions which threaten its solidity?
Hummm, plastic metal, "metal"core, whatever ultra technical/brutal stuff...! These are for sure the worst things for the real metal. Metal is a music rooted in the 70'/80'; it cannot be another way!

Is there something of your past of teenage metalhead that you miss? Anything of your youth that you can't find anymore today.
My walkman when i was in the school bus... Reading fantasy books when i was a child then teenager... The rehearsals with my first band, when our heads were full of dreams... I miss the paper/physical labels catalogues: it was fucking nice! It was also easier to buy blank tapes too ahah!

Are there any persons that may be your ideals to follow about the attitude and the albums they released? Someone who deserves to be listened to and from which you draw inspiration.
Hard question, but of course first who come to my mind is King Diamond. His work with Mercyful Fate and King Diamond are beyond words, and in my opinion it's rare to see 30 years old bands without any shitty track in fact. I can add some bands like Autopsy, Candlemass, Mortuary Drape still playing great music after all these years; it's crazy! In more recent musician, i can say Mordra of Necros Christos is a model: excellent guitarist, intelligent and nice guy, and of course awesome band. Just one more (recent) band: Negative Plane. They are really, really promising!

If the instrumental part of your work is fundamental, we can say that's impossible to divide it from the lyrics, this aspect is often considered like an useless surplus since many people download only the mp3s, also the labels make people download files with high quality artworks, aren't they killing the albums they release in this way? Is the research of the original and physical work to know it better something for few people?
How a band can "release" a digital album?! It's totally weird to me, and definitely not metal in every ways! Yeah, the pleasure to read the booklet, the contact with the physical object cannot be equalized by those virtual shit! Fortunately, I don't think it's only for a few people! This virtual/digital fashion is for the youngers. But remember one thing: purchase physical releases is for you, and not just to upload pictures on forums!!! It's not obvious for everybody it seems...

Ysengrin and I, Voidhanger, how did this band and this label which like to cover unexplored ways meet? Will your collaboration continue?
I sent a promo to Luciano (I, Voidhanger) and he was very interesting to hear more. I sent him the whole album (in unmixed version) and then we agreed to work together as he liked vey much the whole stuff. Yes, we'll continue to work together for different projects (cf. question 1).

Do Ysengrin make live shows? Are there any dates to support "To Endotaton"? Is having only one song a problem about playing it?
I don't plan to make an Ysengrin gig one day; I prefer to keep the project for studio only.

Who is Guido Saint Roch outside the band? Passions, hobbies, everyday life.
My passions are just link to what Ysengrin is: ancients times, the Occult, of course reading books, watching movies, listening to music... I think nothing exceptional. I don't go oftenly to gigs, and I'm not a die hard drinker. Of course, I'm and i'll stay always a metalhead in heart, but i don't really like to be part of the metalhead community (cf. question 9). I have a wife and I prefer to stay home with my wolfdog pack and stuff like that rather than puking in a bad metal bar!

The interview is finished, thanks for the time you spent with us, you can leave a last message to our readers.
I don't really like to answer to webzines but your interview was interesting. Thanks for your support and all hailz to Italian maniacs!
A.M.D.G.

 

       


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