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21.08.2018

ISKALD

Innhøstinga

Anmeldt av Jens Nepper
(Indie Recordings, 2018)

Karakter: 4/6

Iskald Innhøstinga.jpgTruth be told, I have found previous albums and releases by Iskald to be slightly disappointing in the sense that they always had so much potential and cool ideas to them, but somehow they never really reached those stratospheric and impressive heights that they could have. Luckily, this upcoming 2018 opus of theirs entitled "Innhøstinga" is a more focused, disciplined, and musically diverse offering than those that preceded it. Iskald's particular brand of black metal is utterly cold and harsh, but not in any primitive or lo-fi sense. Rather, the riffs are sinister and the atmosphere of the record conjures up visions of bleak, barren, and inhospitable vastlands where raging storms and icy winds rule. The album is somewhat epic in scope, but plenty of face-melting thrash metal elements also sneak into the picture and provide the tunes with variation and bone-crunching aggression. However, the ensemble are at their absolute best when they let loose and head into majestic and (fast-paced) tremolo-picked territories. Also, the many mid-tempo parts and even slow passages that appear from time to time add color and nuance to the songs, and the melancholy vibe of the melodies is both appealing and intense. The vocals are slightly one-dimensional and a little more variety and depth would have done wonders for them, but they do get the job done. The musicianship is solid and the production is definitely suitable for Iskald's sound and musical identity, so no complaints there whatsoever. The highlights of the album and the ones that truly deserve praise are "Lysene Som Forsvant", "No Amen", and opening track "The Atrocious Horror" due to their many surprising twists and turns as well as their memorable riffs and strong melodies. There are nods and parallels to bands such as Taake, Kampfar, Gorgoroth, and early Keep of Kalessin in terms of style and mood, but not in any derivative sense of the word.

"Innhøstinga" is neither a must-have nor all-out stellar as such, but it is a dark and brooding record that is consistent and confident all the way through and it will serve as a good soundtrack to autumn and winter this year. You need to devote some time to this one and allow it to grow on you so that all the pieces of the puzzle can fall into place, but it is certainly worth your time doing just that.
 


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