The ice-cold winds from the far North are back!
If you don’t know, Iskald has been a staple in the black metal scene from Norway, and one may say: So what?
Well this is the “new” scene of Norway. Particularly I hate everything that is “new” but the long running “second wave” of Black Metal has evolved into something else, (please let’s not talk about a silly third wave or post-black metal, this is no evolution)… Bands like Borknagar, Enslaved, Demonaz, Isahn and ICS Vortex are the best example on how this sound is being made nowadays, often by veterans… well, Iskald came to scene in 2000’s and they’re acting like veterans let me say!
The grandiosity of this album and awesomeness of it push the border of the style where soundscapes bring the gelid scenery into the forefront, even acting inside of what some shall call “melodic black metal”.
A Fading Horizon is a first pure-blood metal attack with its 7 minutes showcasing a fast and snail paced music alike and riffs that send shivers down my spine.
But the song that got my ears was Underwordly with its melodic approach, but it’s not a stupid tentative to ape other famous names of the style: in the case of Iskald everything sound very natural, you know somewhat that is in their blood to develop an ice-cold sound like that: lengthy, yet inspired like a Saga!
Iskald, the song, is still more Norse! It’s a song that HAS to be appreciated several times as in the old days of progressive rock. I’m not saying they are progressive-whatnot, they just do their stuff, a very organic sound without gimmicks, honest and in-your-face attack sometimes sounding like the old and cold Limbonic Art.
Another great track (in all senses) is the 10-minute closer Nedom Org Nord sung in their mother tongue is a crossover of old and new atmospheres that pervades Norway nowadays. My heart seriously skips a beat when I hear the ultra inspired riffs of Simon Larsen (who also plays bass and does the vocals in the opus along with the drummer Aage Krekling – actually they are a due in studio). Some syncopated drumming as a military call from the abyss brings all changes of phrases and nuances of the album into one song. That doesn’t mean the album is not perfect in its entirety.
Actually Iskald is a band that married the old and new scenes into only 6 long songs and it’s highly recommended for those who still defend the faith of Norwegian Black Metal!