Isenmor - Land of the Setting Sun (Own Label)

Not a bad start...
Release Date: 
20 Jun 2015 - 11:30pm

I like Isenmor. For a start they’ve got not one, but TWO violinists in the band, which adds a slightly different, more progressive edge to their at times basic battle metal assault; But perhaps more that that, and oh-so-apposite for a band playing this type of music – they hail from a town called Savage (it's in Maryland, if you're interested).

All levity aside, Isenmore have actually come up with rather a nice little EP in Land of the Setting Sun. Opening track Death is a Fine Companion lays the band’s cards on the table from the get-go, exhibiting strands of black, battle and thrash metal woven together in pleasing (if at times slightly naïve sounding) fashion. That naivety is mainly expressed in the helter-skelter nature of the song’s arrangement and the slightly cheap sounding production, but these are things that are easily remedied and the bare bones of the track are great. 

Pyre is more studied, more mournful, whilst the lurching title track really brings those violins to the fore, with fiddlers Nick Schneider and Miles Waldman performing admirably. This is probably the most appealing track on the record, sure to draw in any fans of bands like Ensiferum or Australia’s own Claim the Throne who might stumble across it.

Penultimate track So Willingly Deceived starts slowly, with a keyboard and piano intro that brings to mind pomp rock titans Kansas before slipping into something that Peccatum might have come up with if they ever decided to perform some straight-up death-tinged doom. It’s an intriguing prospect and comes nicely as a less-heavy interlude after what’s gone before. Final track The Old Mead Hall finishes proceedings in suitably rollicking style, and whilst Isenmor contribute nothing new to the burgeoning battle metal field, what they are doing is well worth a listen.