Ius Talionis. Roughly translated it means “eye for an eye”. And it is the name of a relatively young black metal band from Aachen, North Rhine Westphalia, Germany. After a demo called “Eleutheromania”, “Saligia” is their first full length. Its name is an old acronym for the main vices. And this album fits in this ancient meaning, dealing with those vices as an concept. Each Song is dedicated to acedia, disdainfulness, meanness, lust, wrath gluttony or envy.
While dealing with this topics, Ius Talionis use different approaches, combining many facets of black metal into their sound. Over the total running time of almost a quarter to an hour Ius Talionis form a diversified album. But on the other hand they show of some child illnesses as well.
Frankly, some songs might have been shortened. Like “Tanz Um Das Goldene Kalb” or the epic “Herzstillstand”. And the lead guitar / solo from “Tanz Um Das Goldene Kalb” is very primitive. It does not fit into many other ideas and leads that happen on “Saligia”. It seems that this track was one of the more older ones of the band. In contrast, just the following track, “Babylon”, shows some nice lead guitars that fit way better into the overall sound of the band. Or just listen to those harmonies at the end of “Gärten Des Dionysos” or “Elohim, El-Qanna”. Especially the later one are close to the atmospheric density of post black metal and show the immense potential of the band!
At this stage, Ius Talionis blend several styles of black metal into their sound. From more prototypical ideas in “Auge um Auge” over some punky riffs and moments in “Tanz Um Das Goldene Kalb” to more atmospheric elements in “Babylon” or “Gärten Des Dionysos”. Mixing in nice melodies in “Früchte Des Zorns” or “Elohim, El-Qanna”, combining grim and aggressive passages in “Früchte Des Zorns” with more bleak and cold moments in the same track or “Gärten Des Dionysos” or “Babylon”.
All this influences make “Saligia” a diversified album. But on the other hand it is still lacking some red chord, binding everything together to a stringent trademark sound. This might sound more devastating than this review is intended. There is a lot potential in this band. Many ideas are show that Ius Talionis look beyond their noses, incorporating many elements that will make them outstanding. Just listen to “Herzstillstand”, when there is really interesting drumming and even a passage with some piano. Or the more exciting moments at the ends of “Elohim, El-Qanna” or “Gärten Des Dionysos”. Those ideas show the way that Ius Talionis might wander. And this direction is awesome!
So have an eye on this young band. “Saligia” might has some draw-backs. Some songs are still in search of a trademark sound. But others show a greater vision. And in future they will have some great output, I promise.