Friday, March 17, 2017

Isenordal : "Shores of Mourning"

This album takes a few listens to really let sink in. There is a lot going on and while in some ways the dark folk is blended with black in a manner like Agalloch these guys have their own sound. Seattle is not the first place I would have thought these guys came from. The title track opens their full length debut. One thing this band has going for them is they are very dark. There drummer is good, but some times rushes them into faster sections and clearly wants them to lean more into the black metal when I think they could milk some more doom out of these songs. There is a piano intro to "Of Winged Fire and Crawling Shadow".  This atmospheric beginning lends itself to some really nice guitar passages.When the metal does kick in it's black. The vocals has the hateful nasty rasp to them. The more galloped trash inspired riffs are pretty bad ass. and in the guitar harmonies you can hear where their chops are.

There is more of a an Agalloch quality to the whispered rasp of the vocals against the acoustic strum of "Pyres at Nightfall". It is more darkly romantic where Agalloch has a more hipster folk thing going. The doom part of the equation doesn't really kick in until "Tear the Veil of Dreams" Thew first few minutes of the song find the black metal vocal laying onto of a bleakly lush arrangement that is not really metal at all . When the lower growled vocals and distorted chords ring out then we are deeper into metal waters. Female vocals haunt the background of  the song in when the double bass kicks in and things speed up into blast beats. "A Gallows Prayer" is another sprawling 11 minute song

The album closes with the woeful "Cleansing Rites" which marries black metal vocals to and almost My Dying Bride brand of dramatic metal. The violins really add a lot of texture and along with the keyboards things get gothic it works well with what these guys do. It's their drummer who seems to tempted them back into stepping on the gas and launching these songs into black metal. I like how the vocals are layered midway into the song before things slow back down. Overall this album sucks me in enough for repeat listens to earn being rounded up to a 9. I might grow on me further certainy at some of my lower points today it resonated with me.


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