Band / Release NotesISENORDAL is a black funeral doom/dark folk project birthed in the year 2013 in the Cascadian region of the United States.
6/28/2018 - Review by: Greg Watson
Very serene, elegant folk metal album that will not be for everyone
I don't know how many metalheads know of Isenordal or have even heard of them for that matter, but the band's debut album 'Shores of Mourning' really took some people by surprise. What you will find with the band's second full-length release 'Spectral Embrace' is a very elegant, introspective album that is a slow burn rather than the in-your-face catchiness that was featured on 'Shores'.
There are still some black metal elements present on this album but it is mainly acoustic with the band using the viola, piano and acoustic guitars very heavily. The male/female vocals are emotive, expressive and downright haunting at times. They play off of each other wonderfully and vocalists Kerry Hall, Marisa Kaye Janke and Lieu Wolfe really help set the mood for each track with their vocal performances. One thing that I found most enchanting with this album is the thought that went into the string arrangements for each track. They weren't haphazardly thrown together for a cool sound, they were constructed to really take each track to the next level and really harness that funeral/folk feel that the band is widely known for.
This album is definitely one that you have to sit down and take your time with. It's not going to jump out and grab you from the get go. But as you spend more time with it, it will begin to take hold of you and keep you spellbound by its beauty. I am thoroughly impressed by how well Isenordal was able to transition from playing some quality black metal to an album of this magnitude. This is not an easy transition to pull off but Isenordal does it and does it incredibly well.
So, if you're looking for something a little different, a little less heavy to sample, you need to go out and listen to 'Spectral Embrace'. I highly recommend listening to this one through a good pair of headphones or earbuds, depending on your preference, as they'll provide you the best listening experience for this album.
Recommended for fans of: Ulver, Empyrium, Dzo Nga
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