The Calm Hunter - CD
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|Release Date||Feb 24, 2023|
Classic Isole album finally available again on CD! Deep sorrowful Doom Metal! New album coming in March 2023.
We guess by 2023 Isole hardly needs to do anything in order to be considered the third Doom Metal behemoth on Swedish soil after Candlemass and Count Raven. With only masterful Doom Metal opuses in their discography the guys should have been content with the impact they had on the scene enjoying their status as one of the premier Doom Metal providers in the new millennium.
Prone to a more progressive style of songwriting than masters of epic Doom like Candlemass and Solitude Aeturnus, Isole heap a lot of content into their songs, which makes “The Calm Hunter” a challenging, yet exciting listen even at only 51 minutes. What this album draws closest to is a more boisterous and less reverent - though equally sorrow-filled - travel through Doom’s heartlands of woe and regret as imagined by Swallow the Sun and October Tide. Guitars chug heartily, death growls meet monkish croons and choirboy cleans, while some sections leap off the track and scramble down a hillside at pace.
The important thing here is to recognize that Isole are not following the established rules of this style as they did a little bit more on their previous releases but attempt to introduce some new features and add excitement, though not at the expense of losing the sombre mood. The lightness and ease of movement implied by this ability to change pace keeps the listener guessing throughout The Calm Hunter, plus adds to the weight of the gloomier Doom sections. The energetic guitar tone and variety of riffing styles work really well, giving ballast to the songs and driving the compositions forward, which gain atmosphere from the vocal melody, creating a perfect balance between the key elements of energy and emotion.
The way that Isole veer away from the obvious is also a pleasant surprise, since Doom Metal can take its own gravity a little too seriously, meaning that some bands refuse to stray from the typical trudging melancholy. Avoiding this trait may be a result of the band’s tendency to use song dynamics to affect the emotions generated, since some of the pieces here build intensity towards the end, while others wind down in gentler style. The result is for the album to feel varied and full even with only seven songs on offer. Also present on this album are several melodic moments that flurry around the basic song chassis in a manner that sometimes makes one think of melo Death, but often sound menacing or ethereal in a true doom sense, like during ‘Perdition’. These are very effective, either breaking up the occasionally plodding traditional doom fare and lifting the mood or crushing down harder to produce feelings of loss and despair.
It’s refreshing to see a band such as Isole step up and take charge of their destiny like this: if they plan to continue in the same distinctive direction, they might well become leaders in a new wave of Doom Metal
1. The Calm Hunter
2. Dead to Me (The Destroyer Part I)
3. Into Oblivion
4. The Eye of Light
6. Alone in Silence
7. My Regret (The Destroyer Part II)