Isolert - Isolert - (8.5/10)
Published on April 13, 2017
Formed in 2015, the Greek black metal band Isolert made a pretty good impression to this reviewer back in 2016 with their debut full-length No Hope, No Light… Only Death. With a little less than a year since that release, the band is back with a new EP simply titled Isolert. The EP runs a little less than 30 minutes, which is interesting considering the full-length was just slightly over 30, but the material is very enjoyable and another fine example of Greek black metal.
It probably goes without saying that there is something about Greece that breeds great black metal. Isolert waste no time showing that they belong in this category. The titular track starts everything off with a great intensity of blast beats and tremolo guitar picking that sounds as cold as their influences. This trend continues on the album, and even though there are moments of a more sombre and slower paced band, the harsh approach is never too far behind. The transitions between the faster and slower sections is done very well, and the dirge like atmosphere created in these sections can be truly haunting. All of that is of course complimented by a very impressive vocal performance. During the quicker parts, the screamed vocals sound pissed off and aggressive, but the more dirge like moments feature a very tortured and agonized vocal performance. Not quite in the realm of depressive black metal, but more otherworldly, similar to some of the noises Wlad of Vlad tapes fame would be able to conjure.
While the three original tracks follow a similar path, none quite have the same impact as the opener, but each song is very well written and manage to stand out from one another and create some truly memorable moments. Each track feels like it has its own identity but does not stray too far from the formula Isolert clearly want to employ. With the final track on the EP, the band has decided to cover a Slayer track, and to possibly upset a portion of the audience out there, I have never been a fan of Slayer. This performance is well done, and the vocals are a definite highlight, with plenty of variety being employed. The band does make the song fit a it more in their style, but ultimately it falls flat in comparison to the remainder of the release. Certainly just a personal opinion, and those Slayer fans out there would likely find quite a bit of enjoyment out of this cover. Regardless, the actual work being put in by the band on all four of these tracks is undeniable, and really show a younger band ready to take the reigns in the genre.
Isolert, the EP and the band, is something to keep an eye on. Musically, the band is very strong already, and even just forming in the last couple of years they show a great sense of songwriting and being able to have both an old school and fresh feeling on the genre that is not pretentious sounding or too “experimental” to really be enjoyed. It all feels natural for these guys and clearly their passion comes through in spades. Thus far the band has had two impressive releases and personally, I am excited to see where the go from here.