Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Is - Into My Own

IS - Into My Own (WOLFSPELL Records CD 2017)
I knew already the band called Is from the split CD they did a while back with Hermóðr titled "When the Frost Has Stopped the Time". And I have to admit that it was a good effort and interesting release. This year Wolfspell Records putted out Is' second full length album "Into My Own" and I was quite eager to listen to it. First though, couple of things of introduction. Is are Russian one-man project, led by Nøkken. It's relatively fresh thing, as he started it in 2014, but Is already released several EPs, couple of splits and now also two albums. And first thing, which I noticed, when I got "Into My Own" in my hands was the beautiful artwork and layout for this digipak. It looks very impressive. 
But the music also surprised me, because last time I have listened to Is the style was more alike to atmospheric, but doomy black metal. Here it has more in common with melancholic and sorrowful doom / death metal than black metal. Actually, if we have to categorize music, then I think there's no trace of black metal left in Is' music. And if it's good or not, I leave you to decide that, everyone will have their own opinion. I have to say that I am not big fan of atmospheric doom / death metal, at least not in the vein, which I can hear on "Into My Own". But it didn't disturb me to quite enjoy the music and play this CD several times today. What characterizes "Into My Own" are heavy, slow paced riffs balanced by strong melodic base (guitars, leads, keyboards) and atmosphere of sorrow and melancholy, which spines everything together. In every song heavy parts could be followed by calmer, more nostalgic fragments and even deep growling vocals can occasionally be followed by clean singing voice. Mostly the result is solid. Sometimes it may be just too melodic and too "nice" for my musical taste, but I have nothing against listening to such bands occasionally, especially if there are such good songs like "Where It Began" or "To the Sun". 
There's obviously nothing revolutionary about "Into My Own", I feel like many Finnish doom metal bands have influenced Is strongly, but maybe even such Novembers Doom have inspired Nøkken \to compose this album. All in all, I think this is a decent stuff, very easily to get into, with quite memorable songs. Even if the music becomes slightly monotonous after a while and the drum machine not always sound that good, it doesn't affect the final reception of "Into My Own". And I'm glad that Nøkken closed this album in 40 minutes of musicbecause more would probably annoy me too much. 
Standout track: "Where It Began", "To the Sun" 
Verdict: 60/100 

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