Chuck Schuldiner Project

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Isdal - Demo



I really love these bands that counterbalance fast and slow. It's the sort of thing that feels like an extension on Led Zeppelins idea of balancing dark and light. Such is the case with Isdal, a band named after an unsolved death of a woman in Norway and a sound that reflects that. This is an enormously powerful two track demo with the first song coming searing out of the gate with grind insanity and the second track laying back into some doom metal magic. It reflects a band with a deep understanding of both genres and a desire to fuse them. 

The sheer mastery of both sides of the coin is what fascinates me here. Seattle has a long history of doom metal bands with strong punk and grunge aesthetics. It's a place where grind bands flourish but aren't afraid to toss in elements of slower music. Simultaneously they have a certain artsy aesthetic that makes the focus track here, Weight In My Spine all the more special. This demo represent barely six minutes of music but it suggests a unique songwriting aesthetic that merges a variety of genres into a surprisingly coherent musical sentiment. Watching this band gradually get their shit together and get a more precise sound is going to be interesting. 

At once ADD but also punishing nihilistic and realistic Isdal have caught lightning in a bottle here. I feel like the first melodic line on Weight In My Spine in particular has almost Yob like potential. There are a lot of unique ideas here, the touches of hardcore serve as a thrilling monument to where the band has come from and the forward thinking moments of audacity push towards a sort of poetry that only the greatest doom bands achieve. Isdal could be on the verge of something great, or they could fade into obscurity. Isn't that what we love about this in the first place? 

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