We recently received a copy of No Hope, No Light…Only Death, the debut album of Greek black metal band, Isolert. After listening to it the last few days I can say it’s an interesting album that’s definitely worth a listen. The intro opens with a slow, somewhat distorted guitar melody before picking up some speed and slowly adding in more layers and more sounds, during which flashes of classic black metal begin to emerge.
The first full track, “Your Hypocrisy”, features lots of tempo changes with harsh and clean vocals interspersed amongst melodic sections. The harsh vocals strike a very nice balance of being understandable while still capturing an angry sound. The lyrical content, which follows through much of the album, seems to focus on death, suffering, misanthropy, and other nihilistic ideas. The next song features guest vocals from Wrath and opens with a recording of a line from the Joker in The Dark Knight Rises, definitely earning it some points with this blog.
The album largely continues in the same way. Featuring a good mix of melodic sections, interplay between the different vocals, lots of fast, sharp metal riffing along side of slower guitar sections, and a few sections with slower, more symphonic sounds. The pace and sound changes keep the album exciting and make it easy to listen to in a single sitting. I really enjoy the harsh vocals from Panagiotis T. on a lot of the songs as well, and think they shine throughout. I also have to mention that the drummer, Nick S., has impressive symbol work on several songs. The albums’ strength lies in its wide variety of sounds that always manage to feel cohesive and it’s a great accomplishment.
I have to mention the titular ending track, which is the true gem of the album. It opens with two minutes of slow, melancholy piano backed by ambient sounds of a thunderstorm before launching into a fantastic guitar riff that mirrors the notes of the piano. This grows in intensity and power and becomes backed by more and more of the band and other sounds until tapering off into a slower section that brings the despondency back, but this time being carried by guitars rather than piano. Several minutes later screams can be heard that sound far more anguished than angry, signaling another shift in the sound of the track. The track then begins to slow back down as speaking / chanting becomes mixed with the music and eventually comes to an end with the ambient sounds of rain and whispering. This track almost serves as a microcosm for the full album, minus the vocals, and is really well done.
This album is definitely worth listening to when it releases in a few weeks and makes me look forward to future releases from the band, especially if they can continue to capture the feelings and sounds they did in the final track and add the vocals into it.