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01. Lacrimosa
- Testimonium
02. Sólstafir
- Berdreyminn
03. Soror Dolorosa
- Apollo
04. Ulver
- The Assassination Of Julius Caesar
05. Myrkur
- Mareridt
06. Sun Of The Sleepless
- To The Elements
07. Moonspell
- 1755
08. Au Champ Des Morts
- Dans La Joie
09. Andras
- Reminiszenzen...
10. Svartsinn
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Ison - Andromeda Skyline [EP] (2018) - Review

Band: Ison
Album title: Andromeda Skyline [EP]
Release date: 10 February 2018
Label: Self-Released

01. Into The Unknown
02. Portals
03. Helios
04. Nebula
05. Andromeda Skyline

"A million shimmering lights, they drift into a skyline..."

In the search of a perfect soundscape that makes the listener to embark on a journey so beautiful, the Swedish duo paints for a second time a cosmic sonic path into the constellation of our most inner emotions. It seems that Ison know perfectly that if you want to make someone feel emotion, you have to make them let go, and Ison with their musical approach are simply unique in their doing. This sounds are pure beauty, it induces certain calmness and space to think, there's such a pathos of epic proportions inherent here, it's shivering music to evoke our most deeper feelings, our most inner fears and to burn up the most strained senses. Ison's compositions are simply otherworldly, it's such a perfect combination of absolutely captivating vocals and atmospheric soul embracing yet strong music, that is just like a blessing for everybody who wants to be taken away from the reality into the sonic world full of emanation in the relaxing hypnotizing chill that runs through the veins of the one who enters. It's an immersive cosmic path that builds up slowly and with caution, every consequent note takes us deeper, further into the vast universe that could have many meanings, everything depends on us if we'll find a new star or just a single grain of sand out in the deepest space or within us.

From the inside out, Heike Langhans, known best as the vocalist of the Swedish gothic/doom metal masters Draconian and before that from her solo project Lorelei, and Daniel Änghede who's the main force behind electro/shoegaze/goth duo Hearts Of Black Science and member of Crippled Black Phoenix, are back with their second EP, even though this could be easily considered as an album, or at least a mini album, because it has more than 40 minutes of playing time. Nevertheless, the two artists have the chemistry, have the talent and that certain surplus that makes Ison one of a kind musical act on this planet, and it seems that the two have no longer their foots on the concrete soil, but are floating in the endless distant skylines.

I guess that you all already were embraced by their enchanting journey of debut EP Cosmic Drone, released in 2015, and now Andromeda Skyline offers a similar experience, maybe a bit more immersive and intimate, but still so very haunting and hypnotic, so very irresistible and lightly provocative. Ison's music is described as "cosmic drone", a good and fitting description if you ask me, so, what is hidden behind this mark... deep, sensitive, fragile, melancholic, yet strong and unique Heike's voice which perfectly fits with the gentle, smooth, but so very effective instrumental side. But don't be misguided by all those adjectives that I use to describe Ison's music and the emotions provoked by their compositions, this is not something cheesy, it holds such immense depth and power that is almost deafening, not extreme in a common sense, but on the other side it's extreme in the effect that it has on the listener.

Ison's music is throughout highly atmospheric, dark and rather cold, it has certain minimalistic compositional characteristic, but it holds so much emotional density that is radiating from those cosmic sounds built upon slowly evolving droneing guitar lines, thick reverberate bass lines, echoing drum beats, enriched on some occasions with male or female spoken words and gloomy ambiental spacey keys. Every single song has a certain slow paced harmonic floydian treat and such irresistible heart rending melodies. It's difficult to point at a single song, everything is outstanding, from the opener "Into The Unknown" on, where Ison invites us with them to walk this intergalactic path, through hearing distant signals in melancholic "Portals" and feeling regret of what we have done in tender, very cinematic and perfectly building up in tension, the apocalyptic "Helios". Yes, the apocalypse never sounded so beautiful like in those soundscapes. Then rather upbeat "Nebula" comes in full blow-up and sobers us up before the final destination is slowly approaching with the epic ambiental cinematic beauty called "Andromeda Skyline".  You can almost feel how every single note, every passage and every word hits with such immense power deep inside.

Andromeda Skyline is magic filled with kind of sweet sadness in motion, this "cosmic drone" is a harmonic blend of drone, ambient, goth and shoegaze with a certain portion of doom, spiced up with a bit of electronics and post-rock. All of the songs are in a kind of a reasonable connection and are progressing towards emotional climaxes. With ambiguous lyrics which can be explained in two possible ways, as a proper reference to apocalypse and search for new life after the destruction of our planet, or in a deeper inner sense, in a micro cosmic way that reflects more personal philosophical thoughts. Many eyes will get wet before it's over and because it's highly addictive you'll want more and more of it. Another surplus is the perfect production and mix that adds a lot of depth and additional balance to everything. I don't think that I ever before heard something more captivating and soul consuming like is Ison. Heike and Daniel already enchanted me in a big way three years ago with Cosmic Drone, but now I'm sold... This is very intimate music that will most certainly take you on the most beautiful sonic journey you've ever imagined. This is music from another planet, maybe even from another dimension...

Review written by: T.V.
Rating: 10/10


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