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Terra Relicta Top 20 Of 2018



01. Amorphis -
Queen Of Time
02. Dimmu Borgir -
Eonian
03. Khôrada - Salt
04. Immortal -
Northern Chaos Gods
05. MGT -
Gemini Nyte
06. Summoning -
With Doom We Come
07. Crone -
Godspeed
08. Primordial -
Exile Amongst The Ruins
09. Atrium Carceri & Herbst9 -
Ur Djupan Dal
10. Mournful Congregation -
The Incubus Of Karma

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Random album

Isenordal - Shores Of Mourning (2017) - Review

Band: Isenordal
Album title: Shores Of Mourning
Release date: 25 March 2017
Label: Self-Released (digital), Eternal Warfare Records (cassette), Pest Productions (CD)

Tracklist:
01. Shores Of Mourning
02. Of Winged Fire And Crawling Shadow
03. Pyres At Nightfall
04. Tear The Veil Of Dreams
05. A Gallows Prayer
06. Cleansing Rites

If some people believe that black metal with its many subgenres has a very little or almost nothing left to offer, there are albums that testify that this is far from being the truth. The album that I recently got in my hands, the debut full-lenght of Seattle based combo Isenordal is a proof that there are plenty of possibilities, but while some bands discover new grounds by tedious progressive approaches, this band is searching their identity in vast atmospheric, yet very eclectic sound. The album named Shores Of Mourning is a follow up to bands in 2014 demo recording, Imbolc MMXIV, and consists of six both old and new compositions. Nevertheless, this album is monument, not only from musical side, but also because is a testament to grief and an exploration of purgatory, in a time where the group itself was going through arduous line-up changes, so also the line-up on the tracks is not always the same, the band now features members of Endorphins Lost, Wilt, and Thunder Grey Pilgrim, but no matter to this the tracks form an entity of pretty coherent soundscapes.

Of course Isenordal is far from being a typical black metal band, in their music there are several elements used which showcase in very high dynamics that this emotional blackened journey has to offer. Isenordal incorporates in a marvelous way beside black metal also some doom metal, neofolk, viking metal, so called "Cascadian" black metal and yet much more waiting to be discovered. To point at some bands that might be their influences and to give you an impression of what kind of a musical segments this band follows; Wolves In The Throne Room, AgallochBathory (Blood Fire Death era), Subrosa, My Dying Bride, Swallow The Sun, Woods Of Desolation and similar acts, can be a trajectory line for those who are willing to explore this broad universe of this very special band. This album is a study in loss, and a cry for a long-absent sunrise over a sorrowful and chaotic plane.

While most of the tracks are basically aggressive bleak black/doom metal with some vehement variations, already with the first two tracks the band shows that the things are set pretty high. The whole ambiance is very sorrowful, dark, but absolutely devilish, especially because of the amazing eerie shrieking vocals that sometimes migrate into death metal waters, and add to that very powerful rhythmic line, insertions of viola, broadening gloomy synths, beautiful female voices,... and while everything is just on the right place the thing becomes very intriguing also because of very melodic guitars lines. No matter if the band goes in full speeding blast or slowing down a bit, serving with lush emotional ambiances that sometimes have kind of a baroque-ish character, Isenordal constantly mantains certain flow.

I was impressed by so very soothing solemn ambiental track where neofolk meets black-doom, "Pyres At Nightfall", it's absolutely mesmerizing how nicely it builds up the tension with melancholic viola, acoustic guitars, angelic female voices and harsh male vocals, it simply creates such a haughty atmosphere with extremely rich layers. Also the epic and dreamy "Tear The Veil Of Dreams" continues in the same vein. It's so very haunting, moody, but also captivating as hell. Isenordal just perfectly make transitions between different moods, they never become boring, so it's a pure joy to get immersed into this vast ocean of dark extravagant breathtaking soundscapes. The tracks have certain complexity, but even so these compositions never lose the flow, just listen for example to driving devastating rhythms in "Of Winged Fire And Crawling Shadow" and to "A Gallows Prayer" and how much of a technical skill is present in there when the band leads the listener through various sonic moods.

Shores Of Mourning is pure example of how to make extreme dark art. Isenordal simply delivers a fantastic form of melancholic blackened music that goes through many variations, this is music for special moments, for special moods, it's an album with depth that needs listeners devotion to be grasped in everything that it offers in its almost 50 minutes of playing time. While the production, which is not bad at all, still could be a bit more perfected, everything else is giving shivers down the spine. Isenordal gives kind of obeisance to their musical heroes from the past, this adds something like an old school vibe in certain moments, but what they made is more or less very fresh and absolutely a must for every fan of any kind of extreme atmospheric dark music with twists. Impressive!

Review written by: T.V.
Rating: 9,5/10

Recommended by Terra Relicta

Band: Kammarheit
Album title: Unearthed: 2000-2002 (75th Cycle)
Release date: 27 March 2015
Label: Cyclic Law

In 2015, Kammarheit is synonymous with dark ambient. But back in 2000-2002 Par Bostrom was just beginning to test the waters of this under-the-radar genre. The birth of his project Kammarheit seems like it must have been a true awakening of the senses for Bostrom. After a field-recording session at an abandoned factory he immediately produced his first album Shockwork that very night. What followed was a torrent of albums, six in total, over the two year span from 2000-2002. Yet these albums were not intended for public consumption. A testament to how deeply personal Kammarheit is to Par Bostrom, he produced these albums as a means to help overcome his insomnia. They were only shared with a handful of friends and family at the time. This is an amazing addition to Kammarheit's officially released discography, and a reminder that Par Bostrom was a natural from the beginning and in it for the long haul.

Read a full review HERE