(Andy Synn reviews the new album by Norway’s Iskald, which just may be the best of their storied career.)
Majestic. Masterful. Malevolent.
Passionate. Progressive. Powerful.
No, those aren’t the taglines to this year’s latest Oscar-baiting epic, they’re the words that immediately came to mind whilst enjoying my first listen to Iskald’s fourth album Nedom Og Nord.
Now Black Metal, for all its evocative imagery and striking musical palette, can sometimes be a difficult genre to talk about… at least in a fresh way.
That’s not because it’s become completely swamped by cliché (like all genres, there are those who go beyond it, and those who sink beneath it…) but because there’s a particular vocabulary so closely tied to how we talk about the genre.
“Chilling”, “Frostbitten”, “Grim”… all words that evoke the cold, frozen heart of the genre, and all words which crop up (in various permutations) throughout any discussion of it and its myriad forms, from its most basic, to its most esoteric.
And there’s a feeling that Iskald know this, because this time around they’ve pulled out all the stops to make this album truly definitive. Continue reading »