Released by Hammerheart Records
Release Date: August 23rd, 2019
Genre: Doom Metal, Epic Doom Metal
Daniel Bryntse – Guitars, Vocals
Jimmy Mattsson – Bass, Vocals
Crister Olsson – Guitars, Vocals
Victor Parri – Drums
1. Beyond The Horizon
2. Written In The Sand
3. The Beholder
4. You Went Away
5. Forged By Fear
6. Galenskapens Land
Four-piece Epic Doom Metal band Isole are back with their seventh full-length release, their first one labeled Hammerheart Records. After leaving behind their Forlorn days, they have reformed in 2004 as Isole and have released six studio albums. The Swedish act has created solid and interesting Doom Metal anthems through the years showing their most important feature, which is the excellent songwriting. They have also successfully added many elements from the nineties British and Scandinavian Doom Metal in their modern and faster melodies, making their compositions even more concrete. The final result is a dark, deep mournful atmosphere with many epic moments all combined in a perfect match.
Five years have passed since their latest record “The Calm Hunter” and it remains to be seen if the band has managed to maintain their high standards in songwriting as their previous studio efforts, such as 2011’s “Born From Shadows”. Undoubtedly, the quartet has had plenty of time to get inspired for new ideas and work on them, giving birth to the seven new tracks of “Dystopia”. All these songs are long, lasting from six to eight minutes each, but they are so well-elaborated that the listening process goes out smoothly. In fact, long compositions seem to be necessary in this field, to create the right atmosphere.
“Beyond The Horizon” starts off the album in a great way, showing the amazing guitar work with many clever riffs and solos through the whole song, bonded with mid-tempo drum parts and thick bass layers. The clean vocals come in with an epic feeling, but also the addition of a backing voice gives more depth to the track. There is a change of rhythm near the end of the tune, where the guitars and drums speed up into a headbanging section with a screaming solo. “Written In The Sand” slows down with heavy bass lines and huge booming drums with a grandiose and mournful interpretation of the lyrics. There is a diffuse feeling of pain and despair until a higher lead gives hope of a better future.
“Beholder” has a classic acoustic start followed by clever crunching riffs and a high-speed interlude, an impressive screaming guitar solo which leads to a mid-tempo ending. What follows with “You Went Away” is a blackened – funeral mood, given by an intro with chiming bells in the background with slow guitar riffs and some high pitched melodies. The song continues with powerful and heavier riffs, a cracking fast solo and interesting drum parts. It’s undoubtedly the best track of the album, where the clean vocals are perfectly alternated with death growled parts giving a more obscure tone in the melancholic atmosphere.
“Forged By Fire” is a deep dark, sad tune created by a thick sound based on heavy riffs, a great solo and a speedy interlude that fades in a mid-tempo grandiose ending. The addition of a few growling passages gives a more intense feeling of despair to the dramatic clean parts.
“Galenskapens Land” takes advantage of the acoustic parts to give an overall occult, chilling image to the song, but the much faster bass lines at the verse give an awakening sensation to the listener. A powerful and theatrical ending dominated by fast drumming and grandiose singing lines gives space to the final track: “Nothingness” has a gentle start in a dramatic effect by the acoustic lines and the gentle singing, but soon there is a sudden transition to heavy riffs and thick drum parts. There is also a harmonic mixing of the clean vocals with some harsh parts and echoes that give a much more occult, evil ending to the song.
“Dystopia” is an outstanding epic doom metal record, based on clever musical arrangements and amazing vocal parts. Even though all tracks fit perfectly in the epic doom metal sound, they are not the same or predictable. Every song has its own surprising and impressive moments, making each one of them a unique piece of great songwriting. Even though there are not many elements of innovation or originality, the most important fact remains the intelligent fusion of a variety of sounds. Isole has created a new album full of doom anthems which attend to be discovered and able to reach out to fans of other metal genres.
Written by: Katerina Paisoglou
My Global Mind – Staff Writer