Iskald - Shades of Misery
I have no idea how I shall start this review. Reason number 1: the amount of reviews I have done here on Beat The Blizzard. Reason number 2: the fantastic album "Shades Of Misery" is. I am out of words actually, because who could have guessed that music like this could still be created!??! I thought about letting ISKALD (it means ICECOLD) run in the stereo at least 2 weeks before writing a review, but my hands and head would not let me. For the past 4 days the stereo has run warm, the mp3-player has had 4 batterychanges and the files on the computer worn out (that is impossible, but it seemed reasonable to write it now..haha).
Reviewed by Nash Rothanburg in 12/11/2006
ISKALD has an unique way of playing black metal. It is not old school and underground with necro sound, and it is not a bombastic peeked sound-album. It combines the old and the new into perfect harmony, it is heavy without being polished, and it does not sound like it has been recorded in a basement (some people call that true...but the word and "genre" true is pure bullshit). You will probably say that a lot of bands have a style just between the mentioned stuff, but listen to ISKALDs "Shades Of Misery" and you will quickly understand that this is unique and fantastic.
Still it is difficult explaining the how ISKALD sounds like. Mix a twitch of old Satyricon (the only good album they have "Nemesis Devina"), the cool parts from Enslavement Of Beauty, the folk elements of Asmegin, the black metal stuff Dimmu Borgir used to have, the feeling of Darkthrone, the viking blood from Einherjer and the intensity from Keep Of Kalessin, and you might have lightest idea what ISKALD sounds like. At the same time ISKALD defeats all those bands far beyond comprehention of mankind. Look at the song "Lokes Dans" (The Dance Of Loki): it starts quite strange with a cool synth part, before it bursts into an inferno of guitars the wanna-be bad guys from the "new" Satyricon wish they had done 10 years ago. Unbelivable good riffs, the drums are thight as hell, the vocals are incredable. And the line "Loke...din sviker" (Loki...you traitor), forms the song perfectly since it divides the song from the fast stuff in the start with the slow and emotional in the end. The melodylines of the guitars are to die for too. How I wish I could sit in a forrest right now, take a bag of beer, light a fire, and just sit there in the silence and listen to the song in my head. Because "Lokes Dans" sticks to your mind for a long time.
The whole album is one magnificent journey trough norse mythology, but "Daa Gjallarhorn Song" (When Gjallarhorn Sung) is, for me, the very best of them all! The riff that kicks in after 15 seconds does not even belong here on Earth, it is unexpected and rare, but still brilliant and technical without loosing the melody, and it is a riff that comes all trough the song. The texts, for those of you who read and understand Norwegian, will have a trill with it. This song alone make the album worth buying (AND DID I HEAR SINGABLE?)
ISKALD makes melody out of technic and brutality. ISKALD makes emotions and norse feelings like no one else has done before in blackmetal-history! And people saying otherwise MUST prove me wrong! I will also do whatever it takes to have ISKALD on stage of INFERNO FESTIVAL 2007 is Oslo, NORWAY! ISKALD is today without a recordlabel, and if none of the big labels contact them, I will personally see to it that they will be big, because they have everything that makes them stars!!!
Do you wonder if any negativity will come out of my mouth/hands towards ISKALDs "Shades Of Misery"? The answer is "NO"! I have only had the chance once or twice before, to listen to such a perfect album. By Odin, ISKALD is the future in the old way! I was thinking about giving "Shades Of Misery" a 9 out of 10, just so they had the chance to "improve" on their next album, but what the hell....this is perfect! So if they give us an album even better next time, I will ask the editor to give me a special scale, so I may rate them higher than 10!