Chuck Schuldiner Project

Friday, June 1, 2018

Isenordal - Spectral Embrace

This is a cool one. Isenordal blew the metal world the fuck away with their thrilling debut Shores Of Mourning which was promptly followed up by an acoustic demo, Lughnasadh MMXVII. It seems that now the band who seem to define Cascadia have come out with a fully acoustic record resplendent with cellos, lush guitars, multi part vocals and gorgeous productions. This is the sort of potent acoustic release that conjures up images of a neverending forest and reminds us of the beauty of nature as well as our own fragility.

The quality of the songwriting here is truly top notch and I think it's fair to say that Isenordal are in many ways the spiritual successors to Agalloch. Yet they bring in a variety of their own elements to the fold ad lead to a simple sense of sonic poetry allowing this latest offering, Spectral Embrace to be a beautiful masterpiece. The musical journey that it takes you on through peaks and valleys, highs and lows is poetic. Meanwhile the strange elegance of a song like An Entrancing Dream hints at a band who continually push for something greater. There is a sense of sonic poetry enabling the perpetual triumph of this band.

While there are certainly a few kinks to work out, Spectral Embrace remains a potent odyssey. The delicate guitars and perfectly arranged strings overcome many of the growing pains this band has experienced. We see them not just coming to terms with what they have crafted but also starting to embrace the crown that lies heavy on their brow. This is not a black metal release by any stretch of the imagination but it can evoke many similar emotions. What it is though is a voyage through darkness and light we can never forget.

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