Full Album Premiere: Izthmi – ‘Leaving This World, Leaving it All Behind’

Invoking the descriptor “progressive” when describing a band’s music can unfortunately mean a lot of things, some more positive than others. Does it mean the songs are extra long, or that there are perhaps elements atypical of whatever musical style to which the term is applied? Or maybe it just means “weird.” Back in the ’70s “prog rock” was pretty much all of the above, and frequently involved flutes. Thankfully Seattle-based quintet Izthmi—vocalist/synths Jakob Keizer, guitarist/pianist Autumn Day, guitarist/vocalist Brett Tomsett, bassist/pianist Gabe Kangas and drummer Nolan Head—embody the best parts of progressive by taking their modern black metal and infusing it with folk, post-metal and ambient influences. And no flutes.

Their second full-length, Leaving This World, Leaving It All Behind, set for release on March 4th via Satanik Royalty Records, offers eight tracks—four epics and four instrumental interludes—that form a well-paced whole with plenty of dynamic highs and lows.

“’Leaving this World, Leaving It All Behind’ is both a literal and metaphorical statement about leaving, a life and system that was never made for us, behind,” the band tells Decibel. “Through the acts of self preservation, resistance, and ultimately even giving up entirely. The biggest message on the album is about empowering the self to take control over our own reality and the things that we have control over. In doing so we create a kinder, more understanding environment for all of our surroundings. But just as the album’s narrative is akin to our present reality, the industrialized world and those who facilitate it, (even ourselves), stand in the way of a greater peace and understanding.”

You can preorder the vinyl here, and the digital here.