Tuesday, June 21, 2016
Iskra : "Ruins"
I'm going to try and listen to this objectively , is what I told myself after taking a sip of my coffee and and pressing play on the new album by a band who is often credited with birthing "anarchist" black metal. Anarchism and black metal really don't mix when you think about the fact that Jesus was the first anarchist, so go put that in your pipe and smoke it. But Iskra is not really black metal, they are a hyper-crust punk. Their is some black metal influence, but thrash is just as big of an influence. Lyrically you can't make out a word of what is being screamed so their propaganda falls on deaf ears. The first two songs sound like they are both one song and the third really doesn't have much to set it apart from those two.The snarling continues on "Traume". Lead screamer Danielle, stays in a similar mid range for her ranting.
The guitar gets a little more metal to create an almost Immortal like sound at time and blast beats come and go. But this is more driven by anger than darkness, which is one of the leading reasons these guys are more speed-crust. By the time I get to "Nihil" it's all beginning to run together in it's single minded aggression, until things slow a little for more of a break down to get a little heavier. To me throwing things at you really fast is not heavy it's just fast. So a lot hinges on the moments where they are more intentionally with their riffing. "Illegal" proves this point by being a sloppy blur that has way more in common with punk. "Aegis the Victor" and "Illegal" continue with the monochrome sound that is further exacerbated by the one dimensional vocal style. There are a few commanding chugs here and there, but the rule around here is "cool riffs alone don't make a good song." Good thing most of these are quick and to the point.The more annoying grind core like blasts, don't really feel like they are followed up with enough of a pay off for me and at times this becomes noise.
The breaks on this album are broken as it hurdles off course. The drummer has chops and the rest of the band for better or for worse can keep up with him, but 9 songs it I find this band becomes a test of endurance to see how much of the same thing can I keep having my ears abused with. Regular readers of the blog known I am a huge fan of black metal, so I have no problem with fast, I have a problem with lack of dynamics. Three songs later and it sounds like I am on the same song, sure there are some Slayer like punches here and there that catch my ear, but as a whole pretty bland. I really don't care what kind of message you think you have if you are writing very one dimensional music.I'll give this a 4. Souther Lord is putting this out July 1st.