Ishmael - Hell Is Empty And All The Devils Are Here (2012)


If you're wondering what hell sounds like, Ishmael can describe that sound to you perfectly. Their new album, entitled "Hell Is Empty And All The Devils Are Here," puts you right into it with its demonic riffs and hell raising distortion effects. The album blends doom and black metal elements together giving you a very harsh, raw sound.  It contains only three tracks but don't let that number fool you into thinking it's a short album. It runs for well over thirty minutes and gives you plenty to enjoy.

The album opens with "Buried With Fingers Crossed" which leads with the voice of a little girl singing "Jesus Loves Me." It's quickly covered with wicked female growls that will send chills down you spine. These growls and screams carry a very demonic tone with them. The lyrics are delivered in a very slow manor as blaring guitars drown you in uncomfortable distortion. Deep chugging riffs move the track in a slow tempo as monstrous bass lines rumble heavily beneath them. The drums play a huge role as well. Pay close attention to the detail of each fill as toms and snares come crashing down on you from all directions. Cymbals shatter violently behind them along with booming kick drums. This eleven minute beast has a great structure keeping you hooked the entire time. The screams just become more and more evil as well. You'll also come across a wild breakdown towards the end of the song where the drums go off on a rant as they roll double bass pedals at you along with relentless snares and cymbals. You'll be forced you bash your head to the rhythm. Meanwhile the growling is  accompanied by male growling which echoe each other back and forth. It definitely has a very explosive ending to the track.

Of course it doesn't stop there. The evilness continues with "Little Bones" which also runs for over eleven minutes long. The first two and a half minutes is all chugging guitars and stomping drum rolls. The distortion becomes almost unbearable and definitely has the potential to blow out your speakers. These dark riffs surround you with haunting tones while they slowly carry you to the vocals. This structure is similar to the first in that there is no basic verse chorus verse and everything just flows together perfectly. The ending does start to drag a little as the song gradually slows its tempo little by little. They probably could have ended this track four or five minutes early and it would have turned out just as good.

The final track, entitled "The Soul's Dirtied Windows," opens with a clip that sounds like it came from some horror movie. This plays for about a minute and a half before the wretched screams and monstrous guitar riffs come in. The drums continue to pound you into the ground with their complex fills and rapid combinations of toms and snares. The patterns you come across in this song is absolutely mind blowing. This track runs for 12 minutes and 49 seconds and is definitely worth every second of your time. It starts to pick up a little more towards the second half as massive guitar riffs blast there way though while the double bass pedals start to pick up. The guitars are full of muddy distortion and surround you with more dark tones. Meanwhile you get your head ripped off by the lead vocals as they completely shred you to pieces. This track doesn't give you any time recover what so ever.

There are definitely some parts of "Hell Is Empty And All The Devils Are Here" that could have been done a little bit better as far a the mix and levels go. Sometimes the bass gets a little out of line compared to the guitars. And also the vocals could have been turned up a notch in certain areas as well. The poor quality still complimented the album overall giving it that dark devilish sound that it needed to really capture you. Definitely check out Ishmael if you haven't already.

8/10

Official Site - http://ishmaeldoom.bandcamp.com/
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/ishmaeldoom