Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Iku Turso - The Great Tower

IKU TURSO - The Great Tower (WOLFSPELL Records CD 2017)
This album really reminds the old Norwegian black metal sceneI suppose that I could play it to someone and lie to him that it's an old, but forgotten Norwegian band. And I'm sure he would believe me. The similarities to old stuff like early Emperor, SatyriconBurzum, Manes, Obtained Enslavement and even early Dimmu Borgir is undisputable. And there's no shame in it! We speak of cold, atmospheric, yet very vicious and often fast sounding black metal, played in that classic Norwegian vein. And done in great way. 
What stands out on "The Great Tower" is the fantastic melodic base of some songs. I am truly fascinated with some of these melodies, how amazing they sound and how immediately they bring me the memory of the likes of "In the Nightside Eclipse". Just listen to the opening theme for "Chastise Thyself" for example, with that stunning riff, which leads you through this song. Not only it's insanely memorable and catchy, but it really brings me the feel of the classic black metal records. It's something what you won't find so often these days. The same thing repeats in other tracks like "Bleached Bones in Utter Darkness", while "The Capriciousness of the Galaxy" is so soaked in the characteristic Burzum-esque melancholy that you would think it's taken from one of Varg's albums, if not his early works, then from such "Belus" for instance. 
But it's not just melody, what makes "The Great Tower" so bloody good. It's the whole atmospheric side of this album, with slower riffs, keyboards, some chanting vocals that impresses me. And I love also how it all has been balanced with the faster and more ferocious side of black metal, which is also often present here. When played at fast pace, this stuff also sounds excellent, in tracks like "An Adversary's Funeral" (listen to these howls from this song!) - very cold, grim, vicious and hateful stuff that I'm really into. Iku-Turso doesn't re-invent the wheel, doesn't play black metal, which you wouldn't already know... but they did great job here and I have to say that "The Great Tower" is excellent. I've been listening to this album many times in the past couple of weeks and I still discover some new great riffs here, some great fragments... 
The motto for this album is "(the) Smell of Black Metal 90-95" (from Satyricon song)... and it does fit perfectly, I couldn't agree more. Great album! 
Standout tracks: "Chastise Thyself", "The Wind Is Singing My Name", "Bleached Bones in Utter Darkness" 
Verdict: 80/100 

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