Isole – Born from Shadows

Dooooooooooooooom! Swedish purveyors of doom, Isole, have just released their fifth album, “Born from Shadows” and it might just be their best album yet. I thought their last album, “Silent Ruins”, was pretty awesome, but this one seems so much darker that I can’t help loving it. “Silent Ruins” had a slightly more airy feel to it, like a mournful ghost wandering through barren fields, while “Born from Shadows” sounds tighter and more like something crawling up from the still darkness of a dusty forgotten catacomb. So good; Candlemass would be proud.

I think my intense fascination with doom metal the last few years probably stems from the fact that so much of metal these days is about faster, harder, harsher and being more brutal. I love these things about metal, but if that was all I listened to all the time I’d get completely desensitized and forget what I liked about it in the first place. Like if you really loved pizza, and you decided to eat it every day, after awhile you’re so used to the taste of pizza that you don’t even notice the things that made you love pizza. Doom metal, aside from being crazy awesome in its own right, is also a good palate cleanser that helps me to keep perspective about heavy music.

One of the interesting things about Isole is that while they are mostly a traditional epic doom type band, they also include some harsh vocals that give them a funeral doom sound. The clean vocals are in the majority, but there are harsh vocals that add accent and emphasis in places and really do work well in the style. I’m not as fond of funeral doom bands because it mostly sounds like really slow death metal (or the eternal grinding of tectonic plates) and I tend to become bored. A nice sprinkling of it mixed in with traditional doom is actually perfect.

If you are a hardcore doom fan then you were probably already waiting for this album. Rejoice! It’s a classic waiting to happen. Other metal fans may still need to be turned on to Isole. Well here is your wake up call. Go. Check. Out. Isole. Now.