Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Iskald - Nedom Og Nord (Album Review)

Album Type : Full Length
Date Released : 13/1/2014
Label : Indie Recordings

Nedom Og Nord, album track listing : 

1. A Fading Horizon
2. Underworldly
3. Iskald
4. The Silence
5. Nidingsdåd
6. Nedom og Nord

Bio :

Two winters has passed since the release of “The Sun I Carried Alone”, Iskald` s previous record that saw the light of day in February 2011. As all their releases, this was well received critical acclaim and great feedback from fans all over the world. For two years, they have been writing their latest epos. Finally, on the third winter, they return with their fourth full-length effort “Nedom og Nord”.

Iskald still sounds as fierce, cold and intense as before, but with even more massive guitars, aggressive bass-lines, complex drumming and harsh vocals.  “Nedom og Nord” is by far their most epic album to date, containing six long masterpieces, each with different lyrical themes. This is their first Norwegian entitled album, in which half of the lyrics are based on their mother-tongue. And finally, their self-titled song “Iskald” was finished and put on the new record. It's a monumental hymn dedicated to the surroundings and people of their home; Nordland.

“Nedom og Nord” is their tribute to the northern parts of Norway, with the arctic surroundings that has always a part of their lives. In both a good and bad way.

The Band :

Simon Larsen | Guitars, bass, vocals
Aage Kreklin | Drums
Ben Hansen | Live guitarist
Kenneth Henriksen | Live bassist

Review :

Norway never seems to cease spewing out quality black metal, and Iskald are no exception. Their band name translates as ‘ice cold’, a theme and general essence that pervades the frosty black metal they do so well. ‘Nedom Og Nord’ is Iskald’s fourth full length release, and it’s everything you can anticipate from the Norwegian melodic black metallers, but on a noticeable grander and more extravagant level. Paying tribute to the desolate cold parts of Northern Norway. ‘Nedom Og Nord’ consists of six expansive tracks each encompassing a different lyrical theme. There is certainly nothing subtle about this fifty minute offering, atmosphere and epic soundscapes are in abundance.

An aggressive opening with The Fading Horizon, laden with fast paced tremolo picking and coordinated with crushing chord riffs, the tone is immediately set for what follows. Pummelling blast beats and menacing growly vocals reinforce the utter black metal-ness of their music, a consistent factor of the album. The drums play a crucial role, while obviously being blast beat heavy an array of beats and tempos add an exhilarating touch. Underworldly continues the melodic black metal assault, while Iskald showcases the more melodic side yet still being, to quote Devin Townsend’s former band  Strapping Young Lad’s album title ‘Heavy as a really heavy thing.’

Ascending riffs break up the sometimes monotonous nature of the music, outlining the distinct grandiose aspect of ‘Nedom Og Nord’. The album possibly comes across as a little rigid at times, and will therefore predominantly appeal to fans of Norwegian black metal (Immortal in particular) whilst not necessarily enticing in a wider audience of extreme metal fans.

The album peaks perhaps a little too late with final track Nedom Og Nord a song dedicated to the surroundings and people of their home Nordland, and is the outright triumph of the album. A soaring conclusion which really defines the icy, wintery vibe that Iskald are all about, evoking imagery of busting out a solo on a snow covered mountain (think Immortal’s video for All Shall Fall).

Whilst the entire album very much appealed to me the majestic ten minute finale of Nedom Og Nord was a cut above the rest. The musicianship and production of the album is nothing but sublime, it’s well crafted and intelligently composed. Iskald have truly excelled with this latest release, yet another Norwegian export that produces superb black metal. 

Words by : Heather Blewett

You can buy it here

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