Almost exactly three winters after the release of their last opus, Iskald come riding out of the northern wastelands with their fourth, and most ambitious, album to date – and one which will be seen as something of a landmark by longstanding fans, as not only is the first in (by and large) their native tongue but it also finally marks the release of the self-titled song they have been working on for the guts of the past decade.
Dark, dense and cold – and a tribute to both the folk and landscapes of the northernmost regions of Norway from which they hail – it is a compelling listen. While very firmly rooted in the traditional sensibilities of black metal, it delivers brutality and subtlety in a seemingly incompatible homogenous and organic experience which envelopes and enfolds the listener in an embrace equally ethereal and earthly.
Aage Krekling’s drumming easily stands comparison with any other practitioner in the genre, combining precision, power and sheer aggression with ease and accomplishment, while Simon Larsen snarls, snaps and weaves his way across the nihilistic soundscapes with evil intent and accomplished aplomb.
If you’re looking for an obvious comparator, it perhaps would be Satyricon – but purely in terms of approach and attitude, as Iskald have produced a sound which is all their own and makes a very worthy addition to the canon of potentially classic latter day Scandinavian black metal albums.
A Fading Horizon / Underworldly / Iskald / The Silence / Nidingsdåd / Nedem og Nord
Recommended listening: ‘Iskald’
‘Nedom og Nord’ is released on Indie Recordings on Monday (January 13th).