Isvind – Gud

Isvind_bandpic_RingMasterReview

Formed in 1992, Norwegian black metallers Isvind quickly made a potent impression on the underground scene, forcibly nudging acclaim along the way with their opening releases. It is fair to say though that it is from their return in 2011, that the band has really reaped the rewards for their creatively imposing and inventive sound and releases. New album Gud continues that progression with a mighty and impressive presence equipped with a blistering tempest of sound fuelling atmospherically charged songs. It is a dramatic and ravenous encounter full of surprises and uncompromising textures, and a release to push Isvind towards the strongest spotlight within the black metal scene.

As its potent predecessor Daumyra, the new album comes through Folter Records and features Isvind as a quartet for the first time. Alongside band founders, vocalists/guitarists Arak Draconiiz and Goblin, the Oslo band is completed by bassist Skævvtroll and drummer Slää, though Gud features Antichristian of Tsjuder who replaced Slää after he broke his arm just before the recording of the album. The encounter itself is a cold and harsh landscape of provocative sound and expression, and as mentioned a great unpredictability which turns strong tracks into fearsomely compelling encounters.

Gud instantly ignites the imagination with opener Flommen and indeed the song’s very first touch. Angelic harmonies fill and seduce the air, their beauty mesmeric yet with a tinge of the siren about them which is realised once guitars and rhythms erupt in controlled but fiery style. There is instantly more of a ravenous maverick tone to the bass which quickly catches the ear and gives heavier darker depth to the increasingly sonically descriptive track. Eventually it pulls up, gathers its intent and surges with a torrent of magnetic riffs and hostile rhythms bound in magnetic guitar enterprise. The raw vocal squalls breathe discontent and venom but are superbly tempered by the returning angels across the increasingly rabid of the song. It is a masterful start to the album, a proposal seeded in the cold wastelands of old school black metal yet blowing with fresh creative winds.

Isvind - Gud - Artwork_RingMasterReview   The rich beginning continues with Ordet, grooves and hooks as ready to engage the senses as the barbarous onslaught of riffs and rhythms. It is a contagious mix, bursts of hostility taking seconds of captivating breath throughout as the guitars continue to relentlessly spin their more refined bait across the sonic and emotional ravishment. The track perpetually keeps attention gripped with every pestilential surge which in turn is disrupted by expectation defeating invention, a trait repeated across Gud and indeed following track Himmelen. Its air, as those before it, might suggest uncomfortable and stark landscapes but its uncompromising presence is a full on charge of musical and emotional rabidity, one uncaging brutality rather than ambient suggestiveness and just as riveting.

Dåren leaps in next with an irresistible rock ‘n’ roll swagger and an addictive grooming to its contagious presence, grooves and rhythms a tenacious temptation and violent shuffle respectively never missing a beat in stirring up body and passions of those it simultaneously and venomously violates. The track is outstanding, and only increases its persuasion when sonic and vocal strains of acidity and imagination spill their taunting bait across its insatiable trespass of the senses.

Both Tronen and Boken create their own striking and pleasure inflaming proposals, the first a malevolent fury which veins its caustic ravaging with melodic intrigue and tempting whilst the second is a bellow of raw musical antagonism also eager to share sharp and invention driven exploits. The guitar craft and imagination across both songs is almost bewitching, their ferocity a tasty and bracing abuse but certainly the sonic endeavour that springs often from nowhere, is the richest key to the track’s triumphs, as shown again within Giften. As the previous track, it too is rampant rancor in tone and presence launched from the darkest ruinous intent. The almost nagging unruly persistence which Isvind installs in a majority of their encounters through riffs and rhythms again just bullies and overwhelms welcoming ears here, their submission rewarded with a smug stroll of flirtatious grooves and swaggering beats.

The album is completed by firstly the mercilessly disorientating Hyrden with its bestial rhythms and cosmic ‘hallucinations’ within savagely oppressing sonic scenery, and lastly Spiret. The final song is as cold and unforgiving in sound and atmosphere as it is virulent in grooves and sparkling imagination, a union of extremes providing another mouth-watering peak within Gud.

Though not newcomers by a long way, Isvind probably has not quite breached the frontline of black metal’s attention. That should change once Gud is set free and brings the genre something rather exciting to chew on.

Gud is available from June 26th via Folter Records @ http://www.folter666shop.de/de/CD/CD-4/isvind—black-metal.html?XTCsid=6nikf1dgnjb2bd4u0e8a90uca1

https://www.facebook.com/Isvindband

RingMaster 25/06/2015

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Isvind – Daumyra

Isvind_Band_Picture

Revisiting and revitalising old school Norwegian black metal, Daumyra the new album from Oslo duo Isvind takes the senses and thoughts on a corrosive and exhausting ride through the darkest insidious shadows and coldest blistering realms. It is a release which sparks and captures the imagination, and though arguably it is not trespassing on new adventures it undoubtedly gives existing avenues a fresh and intensive examination.

Formed as a trio back in 1993 under the name Icewind, the band drew attention with its first two demos, The Call of The Icewind and Herskerinnen, the second release under the changed name of Isvind and down to the pair of Arak Draconiiz (guitars, bass, vocals) and Goblin (drums, vocals, keyboards). This was followed two years later in 1996 by debut album Dark Waters Stir, again on Solistitum Records. Apart from the release of a split with Italian band Orchrist in 2003 and another demo the following year, the band lay in the shadows for many years before returning with the album Inent Lever in 2011. The release saw the band still immersed and inspired by the early sound of the genre and earning strong responses, something the equally soaked in black metal seeding Daumyra is sure to emulate. The eight track Folter Records released album again does not deviate from the core sound and enthralling presence of the band which evolved in the early days but still manages to offer an inventive breath which feeds the hungry appetites of the modern flavoured fan.

Opener Kast Loss emerges from a blaze of harsh ambience and teasing fire, its wind a cold harshness stoking up atmosphere and chilling Isvind_Daumyra_Coverwaves within its scenery from which the track bursts with riffs and rhythms assassinating the remaining air with a carnivorous intent. Lurking within there is an addiction causing groove and heavy metal swipes which colour the dark rasping serpentine tones of the vocals and sonic temptation. The guitars niggle and graze from the first second of the song’s full expulsion, making an unrelenting provocation as intimidating as it is compelling and inviting.

It is a very strong start matched by the following Burn The Kings, the track again merciless in its grinding surge through the ear. There is a kinship between the first two songs; a similarity which binds their combined potency into a pleasing tool, and though they share individualism compared to other songs it only goes to reinforce the impact of the album’s entrance.

The thunderous Blodstorm raises the game before handing over to the pinnacle of the album The Dark Traverse. The first of the pair tears synapses with a sonic flame rich in alluring repetition and bewitching rapaciousness, whilst the drums cage its ferociousness in a steel clad mesh of continually shifting and intensifying confrontation. It is a provocative fury loaded with malevolent caustic vocals and their bestial narrative, and another slice of toxic bait hard to resist. That enthralling poison only intensifies with its successor, the track immediately snatching the senses into its savage claws of sound and energy. A tempest of crucial riffing, rhythmic predation, and riot of grooves, the song is a breath-taking avalanche of sonic majesty, the deeper into its jaws you are sucked the bigger and more immense it grows. Pure blackened evil and skilled maliciousness the track is a destructive tour de force of the album.

Both Djevelens Lende and Myra unleash a thick and suffocating blizzard of sonic, predatory, and rancorous austerity, their touch and presence, biting cold yet inflammatory, grave but contagious. Against their predecessor the tracks trail in its wake but nevertheless leave a touch which instils claws in thoughts and emotions.

Completed by the excellent Specculum, its initial rhythmic stomp and riffs charge changing gear into a primal examination of itself and the senses, and the callously unyielding Klabautermann, the album is a thoroughly satisfying and rousing encounter. Daumyra may not be the most original release to come your way, even compared to Isvind’s earlier work, but it does leave hunger and wants full and ready for more.

http://isvind.net/

8/10

RingMaster 15/08/2013

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