Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Iskald - Nedom og Nord

This Norwegian band is one of my more recent discoveries starting with this, their 2014 release Nedom og Nord. I guess to categorize this band you would call them epic melodic black metal. This band actually reminds me a bit of Vreid though not as much black and roll. I acquired their entire discography and have since become a fan of this band. This, their fourth full length, is their "coldest" album by far and with just 6 songs clocking in at over 48 minutes this seems to be an album where they are branching out and making the longer songs part of the norm. They always had longer songs mixed in with the shorter ones but this time there are no songs under 7 minutes. Are they over reaching or have they finally found their formula? I think they are far from over reaching. I think their take on black metal is modern and fresh but staying true to the genre.

The first song is a seven minute opus entitled "A Fading Horizon" and the riffs start right off kicking your ass. The song is fast with some blasts and some really nice sounding tremolo riffs. The vocals are harsh and angry and take the song to another level....these guys are no joke. This song is complex but not pretentious and, being as long as it is, does not drag out nor become stale. The production on this album shines as well with the guitars right up front in the mix which is what a band like this should sound like. These guys are all about the riffs. The second song in, "Underworldly" is also loaded with great sounding riffs and is more complex even bordering on progressive. There are time changes and even some odd parts but more or less this song blasts you with it's speed and aggression. This is another 7+ minute song but, as with the previous song, does not drag on. This is a band that can get away with making long songs.

Then there is the track named after the band, "Iskald". This song actually steps into the epic territory with even more time changes and even starts off on a slower sound with clean guitars building up to a speedy tempo and massive tremolo riffing. Once again the vocals are cold as fuck and it appears, by this point, that the main theme on this album is the cold...the frozen north lands. Some might say this has been done to death in the (especially Norwegian) black metal scene and that may be true but these guys also have great songwriting to back it up. Some of the riffs on this album like on the song "The Silence", would not seem out of place on one of Enslaved's more recent material. These guys write huge songs that work!

This album is one that I have been revisiting since I got it and I seem to hear something new each time I listen to it. This is not an album of rehashed Norwegian black metal cliches but an original and epic take on the genre. I'm interested to hear what these guys can come up with next.


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