Chuck Schuldiner Project

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Iskandr - Gelderse Poort

Iskandr are a truly fascinating band. This Dutch group which features members of Turia are crafting black metal that is unafraid to go deep into the past. This is a band who have always been visionary and iconoclastic. They eagerly embrace some of the more tormented sides of the genre, but also celebrate their nations rich musical history. In an extremely active local black metal scene, Iskandr manage to stand apart. Their sound and approach is unique. It's hard to find a band who have this same level of vision and ability to execute upon it.

They perfectly capture so much of the bands ethos on Gelderse Poort which sees them open with an extended black metal track of the same name, and then close with an eleven minute reading of a portion of the poem 'het Graf' (In English: 'The Grave') by writer Rhijnvis Feith. It's a magical record and one that you are going to get lost in. The band is able to showcase their compositional excellence but also their larger overall vision, their dedication to growth and their ability to execute transcendent and beautiful music. So much of what the band does here is gloriously executed, tastefully delivered and utterly entrancing. It's a testament to the power of Dutch black metal. 

With gorgeous production and a clear eyed approach, Gelderse Poort is a masterful offering that will keep the listener coming back for more. Iskandr have once again advanced their career arc with this EP. Though the second track, with its acoustic ministrations and poetry may be unexpected and unorthodox, it helps to show what Iskandr are really about, the inner beauty that they communicate and the majesty of what they are seeking to communicate. It's rare to find black metal that really can engage and transcend on this level - but here we are. 

Grab it off Bandcamp!


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