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Iskald - Shades Of Misery

Published Dec. 03 2006

=Staff's pick

Hymn Of Desolation
The Shadowland*
Lokes Dans
Då Gjallarhorn
Shades Of Misery
Warriors Of The Northern Twillight

Genre Black Metal
Simon Larsen
Tracks 9
Simon Larsen
Runningtime 45 Min.
Simon Larsen
Release 22 Sept. 2006
Aage A Krekling
Country Norway
Simon Larsen
Similar artists Immortal, Satyricon

Norway's Iskald decided to go abroad to Sweden in order to record their self financed album Shades Of Misery. Iskald ended up at the Ballerina Studio Umeå, Sweden. I have dark fragments in my mind from their first release, The Northern Twilight EP. I don't recall this one as much as I'm sitting down, concentrating on their new material. What I do know is the fact that Iskald is a duo, consisting of Simon Larsen and Aage A Krekling.

According to their press statement they spent fourteen days in Umeå to record Shades Of Misery. It is obvious that they spent their time well. Shades Of Misery is a very compact and well sounding production. Very good variety in sound, heavy during the softer doom inspired parts, raw and blistering during the parts that are more traditional to the Norwegian style of black metal, but due to a tremendous heavy metal flirting they give their music a more genuine feeling. I must also say that these portals of heavy metal passages are suitable produced with a bit lighter and a great distortion over the guitar channels. The production and instrumental handling on Shades Of Misery breathes professionalism and commitment. I can't help to take notice that these guys are below twenty, with this in mind it's fascinating how adult and relevant their music feels.

Iskalds music dwells somewhere between Immortal and Satyricon, taking a shortcut and touches the borders to Khold. Lay to this that they do it really well by keeping an own sound and in some aspects they do it better than their last two mentioned Norwegian allies. At their best times during the heavy metal influences they are close to the heights of the early Swedish death/black days of Dissection and Unanimated for example. Good composing and as I already said; good production. The vocals are well distributed over all I think.

There are a lot of slow passages that perhaps aren't their strongest weapon, but mostly these parts are quite ok. Best ones on Shades Of Misery are the epic Song, which sometimes reminds me of a more gentle epos from Satyricon's classical Dark Medieval Times and the melancholy Eden and The Shadowland. Innovative music from a band that surely dares to take old music onto new paths.






7 chalices of 10 - Tim

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