Ever since switching their name from FORLORN to ISOLE, Gävle’s Doom Metal brigade have gone from strength to strength with their four albums to date, so when their latest effort “Born From Shadows” rolled around, my hopes had been pretty high and I am more than happy to announce that they have been able to keep things on the high level of quality they have been known for so far!
One danger that a lot of Doom Metal bands are facing is the risk of repetition and therefore potential boredom. No, I know that repetition is part of Doom’s unique charm, but if you keep playing the same kind of Doom, things may get a little stale after a while and with their last album “Silent Ruins” the Swedes had already started to incorporate some harsh vocals as an accent to Daniel Bryntse’s great clear vocal delivery, and they have continued to spice up their brand of Epic Doom with some elements on “Born From Shadows” to keep it interesting and show at least a little progression.
Opener “The Lake” showcases one of these little progressions right from the get go, and that is speed. Now ISOLE have not gone BLIND GUARDIAN on us, no worries, but they are playing with the dynamics of faster passages more than in the past, but without losing the general epic Doom Metal character of their songs, avoiding a revolution, which in Doom circles is never good and once more Daniel’s powerful, clear voice is complemented with the growls of bassist Henka, especially in the faster passages. But while progression is good, I still like the Swedes best, when they are slow and epic, such as on “Black Hours”, “My Angel” or my personal favourite “Condemned” with its over ten minutes, an epic epic, I would call it.
The title track is probably the song, where they deviate the most from what they have been known for in the past. While staying Epic Doom at the core, they accelerate to, can I even say that, blastbeat tempo, if for a very short time it is a very big surprise and to be honest, I am not sure that I am a fan of it, but in the greater scope of things it is a minor complaint, since the rest of the album matches the quality standards the Swedes have set for themselves in the past.
Aided by a pristine and warm production, “Born From Shadows” manifests the position of ISOLE within the scene and among fans as a seemingly never-ending source of high quality Doom Metal that evolves just enough to not be considered a carbon copy of themselves (even more impressive if you consider that the guys also release high class albums with EREB ALTOR on top of it!).
(Online January 17, 2012)