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  ISKALD
'Nedom Og Nord'
(Indie recordings)


Roger Berzerk Fauske

Roger Berzerk Fauske



iskald

Iskald are the latest Norwegian band to make its way into my review inbox. My ancestry is of course half Norwegian with my father hailing from the beautiful city of Bergen, so it all makes sense.

For those that don't know much about this lot, they come from Bodo in the north of the country and have been around for close to ten years.

Two winters have passed since the release of 'The Sun I Carried Alone', Iskald's previous record that saw the light of day in February 2011. As all their releases, this as well received critical acclaim and great feedback from fans all over the world. For two years, they have been writing their latest opus. Finally, on the third winter, they return with their fourth full-length effort, 'Nedom og Nord'.

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The title of the album is a play on words in the Norwegian language so much the same as a football World Cup winning parade, has no relevance here.

This is their first Norwegian entitled album, in which half of the lyrics are based on their mother-tongue. And their self-titled song 'Iskald' was finished and put on the new record. It's a monumental hymn dedicated to the surroundings and people of their home; Nordland.

'Nedom og Nord' is their tribute to the northern parts of Norway, with the arctic surroundings that has always a part of their lives. In both a good and bad way.

So to the tracks. First up is 'A Fading Horizon'. Meaty guitars, menacing, prowling with a dark message kick things off, drums coming in to pull the track along, hammering through it as if forged from Mjollnir itself (that's Thor's hammer if you didn't know), though never taking over.

iskald

The tempo of the guitar changes very early in the song, and it is nice to see a little adventure in the musical make up of the song. Vocals, throaty, sincere, compulsive perfectly sitting in the song, this is an impressive beginning.

There is more than one tempo change, something not always present with this breed of musician and the shifts are almost seamless. Superb stuff.

Time to search for Hades and give 'Underworldly' a blast. Kicking off in the same power drumming infected vein, guitars melodious and powerful, vocals kicking in, intense and ferocious, before the guitars get even bigger. The mood of the song and musical content transfer the atmosphere to your inner most fibre with very little effort, extraordinarily powerful sentiments, the true essence of musical communication.

Now for a little self titlement and the track 'Iskald', and it certainly is ice cold where they come from. Sang in Norwegian, another very powerful song. Drums again at the forefont of proceedings, guitars managing to be both uplifting and sombre simultaneously, talk of mixed messages.

In case you think that is a criticism, it is far from it – in a word its structure is brilliant, thoughtful and inspiring (yes I know that is three words).

More tempo changes, guitars shifting from a horde of angry berzerkers to thoughtful muse then back again, almost a military feel at some points and I can honestly say you are never sure which direction the song is going it, superb stuff, full of traditional black metal injected with catchy melody and even a little pomp. There is even a hymn quality to it.

So to 'The Silence'. Worry not your headbanging barnets, silence is not a literal description. The heaviest and blackest of the tracks so far, this one definitely appeals to the black metal aficinados and is more straight down the middle in that respect. It is a good song and true to that genre but to my ears, after being spoiled with the musical mastery of the three previous tracks, it doesn't quite elevate itself to the higher echelons.

'Nidingsdåd' is next in line. The song title comes from old Norse and a term used to describe an act so heinous that even the Vikings thought it was bad and as we all know that took quite some doing (yes I am very proud of my ancestor's slightly raucous behaviour). Now the linguistics are sorted, how does the music stack up? Well it certainly isn't heinous.

Where the last track was more than enough fodder for the out and out headbanger, this one is more of a thinking man's head crunching recipe. It is similar to 'The Silence' in as much as it is packed full of more of the traditional straight at your throat elements associated with the genre, but it also has an edge to it, almost setting it apart from the norm. A good track, not on a par with the self titled track but still a good piece of musicianship.

The album closer is the title track 'Nedom og Nord'. As you can tell, another one in their native tongue. Going back to the theme of more melodic and multi layered black metal, there are more big and loud guitar intros, shifting gear, drums again powering the engine. A well crafted track and leaving you with a good memory of the band.

So that is it, six tracks, the album coming in at fourty-nine minutes. For some, they may all be a little longer than the average song in the genre but that is how this album has been written.

As drummer Aage Krekling explained: "It's has been a long and hard working process to get this record realized, but in the end it turned out as we hoped for. We are extremely satisfied with 'Nedom og Nord' and believe it is our best album to date.

"After the last album we talked about trying something new, both music and production wise. We wanted to focus more on the feeling and mood in our songs, without losing our defined expression. We did not focus too much on the technical elements and wrote longer and more atmospheric songs."

From that perspective the band has done a damn fine job and as much as they may not have focused on the technical elements, the irony is that has allowed their technical and songwriting expertise to shine through. The most impressive part though is that this album crosses between sub genres in rock whilst keeping faith with the black metal roots so associated with Norway.

I can't deny I love the fact that half of me comes from over the North sea – we had Amundsen, not Scott for starters – and this lot are another reason for me to love it even more.

Iskald is:
Simon Larsen - Guitars/bass/vocals
Aage Krekling – Drums
Ben Hansen - Live guitarist
Kenneth Henriksen - Live bassist

Previous releases:
2007 Shades of Misery - Indie Recordings
2008 Revelations of Reckoning Day - Indie Recordings
2011 The Sun I Carried Alone - Indie Recordings

Iskald Online:
www.facebook.com/iskaldofficial
www.twitter.com/iskaldband


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21.1.14







WACKEN WINTER NIGHTS IS HEAVY METAL WONDERLAND

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Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.

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Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.



Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.

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MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.

wacken

Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.

WACKEN 2018 TRAVEL PACKAGE ENQUIRY

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