Genre: Thrash/Death Metal
Released: January 28th, 2014 on Instigator Records
Ixion is the solo project of Ryan Meranda (ex-Only Human) and is characterized by pretty extensive and ferocious riffing, solo breaks, (programmed) double bass drumming, and some vicious vocals that at times resemble a high, rasping growl and at other times is more of a surly, gruff grunt.
I am a pretty big fan of discovering obscure, underground bands that are just starting out. Ryan Meranda has a nice thing going here with Ixion. Dirty distorted guitars give the music a certain catchiness with the appropriate griminess for that thrash metal feel, and of course, it wouldn’t be thrash metal without a plethora of thrash-y, wailing solos. Meranda’s vocal style is also a unique approach for a thrash album. The high pitched growl is something you might hear in black metal more than you would in thrash metal, but it is a cool, blackened flavor to the album as a whole.
I think Strategy and Violence has a couple of weak points. The programmed drumming isn’t bad, but it has its limitations (such as on “New Gods”), and when Ryan’s vocals drop into the cleaner gruff grunting style, which lands somewhere in between James Hetfield and Dave Mustaine, it doesn’t quite have the uniqueness of his harsher style.
All in all, though, this is a pretty solid effort and debut. Definitely worth the listen and support.
RIYL: Megadeth, Metallica, Only Human
1. Beyond Beast
5. Chaos and Control
8. Heir to Hell
Ryan Meranda: All instruments, All vocals