March 28th, 2015
Release length: 12:17
As if composed and recorded in the vast Nordic lands, Isolated Soul channels a grim and frostbitten atmosphere within the confines of the fairly crisp recording. “Secretum” introduces all this through a well paced slab of haunting Black Metal. Depressing overtones are felt in the Doom paced progression and hypnotic riffs that make up the majority of the performance. Even when things speed up, throwing a little more venom and melody to the mix, it all still feels on the relaxed side, nicely suiting the ritualistic elements that erupt about half way through. Much of this structure follows into “Isolated Soul”, though the guitar solo does throw a little more intensity around, something greatly appreciated with the varying changes in momentum the group explores. While not necessarily a Progressive cut, it seems like the duo are channelling into the idea, utilizing sudden, if not well timed changes throughout to play up certain angles, such as the hazy and sinister plodding march approaching the four minute mark.
But then there’s “Empty Memory (Hate for Mankind)”. While “Secretum” has a strong dose of depression at play, that tone is greatly put to shame by this one, thanks largely to the additional memorial traits it carries. Rich guitars fill the slower paced music once more, increasing speed gradually as you reach the half way point. There’s a brief moment of clean chanting that plays up the latter of the aforementioned environmental touches, and it’s a shame they aren’t really explored any further in this track.
Each of the three songs on Isolated Soul have a decent amount of variety going for them, even though they all share some similarities in atmosphere and structuring. Sure, each one seems to pick up speed by the half way point, beginning the descent back to a slower pace once more two-thirds of the way in, if not a little later. However, each one seems to carry it’s own personality. From frostbitten to a Viking funeral, all the way to a slow march to the depths of Hades, Isolert really take advantage of subtlety, crafting a well paced demo that speaks to the style’s roots. If interested, you can pick this one up as a “name your price” download through their official Bandcamp account, and you really should take the time to experience it.
01. Secretum – 3:39
02. Empty Memory (Hate for Mankind) – 3:41
03. Isolated Soul – 4:57
|Initial Pressing Score: 9/10