Label: Hammerheart Records
Release date: 10 March 2023
Format reviewed: High-quality Digital Recording
Isole… Well, another band I was not familiar with before listening to this promo. But the truth is that when I saw them labeled as “Epic Doom Metal”, I couldn’t resist. That’s a genre I’m enjoying a lot, lately. Not that I was a big fan of Doom Metal before, maybe ‘cause I didn’t listen to a lot of it? Anyway, EPIC Doom is on another level. I love all things epic, so I went for “Anesidora”.
The opener “The Songs of the Whales” gained my heart since the first listen. These are the most epic six minutes in Metal I’ve listened to in months. That great guitar riff intro, the clean and beautiful vocals, the majestic tune all along the song… The subtle sound of the organ underlining the guitar work… Special mention to the harmony between the two guitars starting at 2’40”, that’s precious! And the passage that follows, distilling epicness in every note, until the vocalist strikes again with some more powerful register… And the two clean voices perfectly entwined near the end, pure beauty, along with the slow drum tempo, because of course, it’s Epic Doom… The percussion patterns are excellent.
Before going on with the music comments, let me talk to you about the artists. What if I tell you that two of them are also the founder members of Ereb Altor: Crister Olsson (Mats) and Daniel Bryntse (Ragnar)? And another one (Jimmy Mattsson) is the live bass player for that same band? And the fourth of them (Victor Parri), who plays the drums in Isole, is also the bass player and does vocals in Neuronaut, and was the drummer in Desolator? These bunch of experienced musicians is Isole.
“Anesidora” is all about emotions, it has the power to make me shiver, it’s not only epic but also majestic. I listen to these 7 songs one after another and I feel like merging with the music, I’m going crazy with those slow-tempo riffs and the fantastic solos. Bryntse’s voice sounds really beautiful, heavy but almost ethereal; I feel like in a foggy dream state while a “Monotonic scream” is piercing my brain, the low tone of guitars is hypnotic, it cradles me in pure melancholy. The keyboards do their thing creating an extra layer of atmosphere to the overall sound. And the short passage of harsh vocals in the end (provided by Mattsson) is the perfect closing for that song.
Like in “Twisted games”, that final passage combining clean and harsh vocals gives me goosebumps. “I have to flee from you … and your twisted games”. While at the start there are two clean vocals screaming like in an angry conversation, it’s like the song evolves into a darker and more intense discussion, guitars providing an ominous atmosphere and the very slow tempo by drums bringing more dramatism. I’m totally frozen now.
The longest track in the album, “In abundance”, has the most beautiful clean vocals duet in the album (Bryntse and Olsson do that, besides being the responsibles for all the fantastic guitar work). “I bow down by all I´ll leave behind / In silence, in abundance / At this altar to my failures”, and then Mattsson enters with his hoarse voice: “There is no turning back”. Fantastic.
Still, two more songs to go, wow, and I feel drained of all energy, only a sense of abandonment and a kind of… peace? “Open your mind” starts with only the guitar, a sad melody that turns into a solemn chant when the two clean vocals join. This is a song with powerful lyrics, it gives some hope to the listener, and the guitar solo really stands out. And “Vanity”, the last track, is maybe the darkest one, with ominous guitar riffs and vocals intonating the most melancholic passages in the album. The song fades away with grandeur, with some choruses and the sound of the organ going along with slow guitars and drums, epicness at the highest level.
Honesty, what a big surprise finding this album, first time listening to Isole and it won’t be the last of course. Pure perfection. For me, it’s 10/10 Sílvia
10/10 Immortal Classic
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