Isole - The Calm Hunter review



Reviewer:
6.2

33 users:
7.67
Band: Isole
Album: The Calm Hunter
Release date: November 2014


01. The Calm Hunter
02. Dead To Me (The Destroyer Part I)
03. Into Oblivion
04. The Eye Of Light
05. Perdition
06. Alone In Silence
07. My Regret (The Destroyer Part II)


The Calm Hunter meanders as it seeks out more melodious terrain for Isole's doom metal. This decision brings with it an inconsistency in the catalogue of the Swedes, who have maintained a style of their own under the Isole name ever since their debut in 2005.

It's only to be expected that Isole are associated with the predominant influence of Candlemass in the Swedish epic doom metal tradition, although it's just as easy to recognise that they've pursued a sound of their own on record. Such is especially apparent for this outing, as it departs from a more deeply ingrained doom and opts for album with increased tempo and a more melodic nature. This new nature, as well as the introducing of death growls into their music as taken up in the previous album Born From Shadows, would see a variation of the style they've performed to a consistent calibre since Isole's inception. With the band signing under Cyclone Empire for this effort, a new focus on melody is foundational in the approach taken, demonstrating that they're quite capable of instigating change and development, rather than wearing out the same old routine from album to album. It's clearly not as significant a progression as the genre jumping that the initially comparable American band While Heaven Wept have undertaken in recent years, but it is enough to qualify as an active attempt to modify their song writing, while maintaining their identifiable characteristics.

In writing the track-list for The Calm Hunter, it's as if the band has forgotten to revert back to fully fledged doom out of the frame of mind with which the recently studio active sister band Ereb Altor is realised. The direction taken therein would seem to have had some effect on the proceedings here, as the record is quite noticeably lifted from the slower and more encompassing sense of atmosphere of Born From Shadows and fulfils the "epic" classifier in brisker fashion than usual, still finding the expected distinctive placement and emphasis of clean vocal arrangements.

The structures are presented in a more hurried manner with the activity of a busier rhythm section overall than on many of the efforts preceding, and, consequently, it departs noticeably from the usual Isole sound. Without adequate pacing as would befit Isole's usual doom crafting, the songs proceed with little grip and emphasis on mood such as was mastered in records like Throne Of Void. More gradual segments and guitar lines do arise which reintroduce the band's typical style of song progressions, but there is a meandering melodic input here which carries many of the tracks along at a generally quicker pace and an unfortunate lessening of the doom vibe as a result.

Some of the tracks would retain the doom of old despite the all inclusive melodic approach, such as in "Perdition," but otherwise the majority of the record takes up an inconsistency in a more up-tempo delivery than is typical for the band. Coming off the well realised approach in Born From Shadows, this latest album is unfortunately lacklustre and presents an effort that pales in comparison to Isole's earlier material. Granted, the decidedly melodic attempt does find points of recollective worth, such as in the two part "The Destroyer" sequence, which manages to somewhat redeem the record and conclude it on a more commendable note.

Otherwise, The Calm Hunter ultimately fails to find its target, and isn't among the band's best recordings.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 6
Originality: 6
Production: 7





Written on 15.11.2014 by R'Vannith enjoys music, he's hoping you do too.


Comments

Comments: 9   Visited by: 114 users
15.11.2014 - 14:46
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
Btw it's Cyclone Empire. Not even Cyclone Empire Records

But I agree on about everything you said in your review.
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Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
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05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

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15.11.2014 - 14:51
R'Vannith
ghedengi
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 15.11.2014 at 14:46

Btw it's Cyclone Empire. Not even Cyclone Empire Records

But I agree on about everything you said in your review.


Whoops, thanks for the catch there.
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15.11.2014 - 16:27
Draugen

All their albums previous to this have been solid with a distinct sound that I really like. Even with the inclusion of some harsh vocals on the last one, the "core" sound was still there. Such a shame to see this change...
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15.11.2014 - 17:59
Susan
Smeghead
I was reading this thinking, "well, I like melody! Maybe I'll like this one anyway!" As the review went on it seemed that maybe I was being too optimistic. I got excited again when you said "a busier rhythm section overall" but then you said, "it departs noticeably from the usual Isole sound." Hmm.

I'll of course listen anyway, with hope in my heart, but your review does seem quite honest and straightforward about the sound shift.
----
"A life all mine
Is what I choose
At the end of my days"
--The Gathering "A Life All Mine" from Souvenirs
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15.11.2014 - 19:18
Lionthrone

Written by Susan on 15.11.2014 at 17:59

I was reading this thinking, "well, I like melody! Maybe I'll like this one anyway!" As the review went on it seemed that maybe I was being too optimistic. I got excited again when you said "a busier rhythm section overall" but then you said, "it departs noticeably from the usual Isole sound." Hmm.

I'll of course listen anyway, with hope in my heart, but your review does seem quite honest and straightforward about the sound shift.


I took the same optimism away from the review, even though R'Vannith has rated it so low. I'm curious based on his description to give it a try.
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19.11.2014 - 15:29
BitterCOld
The Ancient One
I want to check this out, but it seems these guys have had a serious up-down-up-down trajectory.
----
get the fuck off my lawn.

Beer Bug Virus Spotify Playlist crafted by Nikarg and I. Feel free to tune in and add some pertinent metal tunes!
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07.05.2015 - 18:35
Daggon
Underpaid M.D.
I still don't get why people seem to dislike this one.
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"Les vers savent qu'ils n'ont pas d'ailes, c'est pour cela qu'ils se cachent sous terre"
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13.05.2015 - 09:51
Daniell
_爱情_
Such a disappointment...
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17.01.2019 - 20:26
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Written by Daggon on 07.05.2015 at 18:35

I still don't get why people seem to dislike this one.


Same here, because its not bad, I understand candlemass old and new, yes, but here. If you can dislike then first albums from this band.
----
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I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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