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February 2013
Released: 2012, N/A
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: UK Team

Islay is a death metal band coming from Emsland region in Germany and was founded back in 2009. Islay members are influenced by Black and Thrash metal and have now released their first full-length album Islay. But let’s start with a little bit more about the band itself and why it is more likely going to appeal to those metal fans who like their drink. …Whisky in particular.

The band’s name Islay refers to an island in Scotland, which is one of the most popular places for Scotch whisky distillery today and their debut album is dedicated to nothing else but whisky. As well as that, each song on the album is named after a different kind of whisky to show their love and respect for the drink. Sounds like a lot of fun and possibly the best idea ever, huh?

The band has previously released 2 demo tapes and performed alongside Rage, Amorhis, The Excrementory Grindfuckers, Debauchery and Tankard. As well as that, Islay have joined Dragonforce on their European tour and played at the Dong Open Air Festival.

Recorded between April and November, 2011, Islay is the perfect debut album to represent the band to a wider audience, as it has got powerful songs and great production.

The opening song “Laphroaig” brings out the first surprise, as it starts with few delicate acoustic chords and suddenly turns into a monster of a song. It introduces the classic Death metal sound with some modern elements thrown in here and there. And it’s as fast as it gets.

The whole album is fuelled with energy and songs like “Dalwhinnie,” “Caol Ila,” and “Jura” will probably make you break the speed limit. It’s the good old Death metal where the influence of band like Cannibal Corpse is undeniable, yet it remains melodic, at some points reminding of Fear Factory and Machine Head. The guitar work on the album sounds chiselled and varied. It often catches the attention, yet still remains in the background.

The singer’s vocal abilities are well impressive, especially for a guy who has changed his stage name to Chicken (I doubt that has anything to do with whisky). His vocals are convincing and powerful as he refuses to stick to only one vocal style. “Octomore” is the only ballad on Islay. It stands out as it is something completely different from the rest of the material on the album. “Octomore” introduced the band from a different angle as clear vocals can be heard for the first time and a very solid interplay of acoustic and electric guitar is presented. This song in particular shows how professional Islay members are at their young age.

Alongside melodic Death metal, elements of Thrash metal can be heard on few songs on the album, as Islay don’t seem to mind experimenting with their sound. With Islay they prove themselves as a creative new band with a great talent for song writing. Songs like “Bowmore” and “Bruichladdich” are the absolute highlights of the album. They introduce epic guitar work and aggressive riffs. They show the musical competence of the band adding serious death metal vocals and drumming.

Islay future is looking promising, though they still have a long way to go. Islay is a decent record for people in search of new Death metal that won’t let them down. It might as well be a good cure for those who are slightly tired of all the Metalcore bands coming out these days and calling themselves Death metal.

Review by Anna Dumpe
Track Listing

1. Laphroaig
2. Dalwhinnie
3. Glenkinchie
4. Oban
5. Aberlour
6. Glenfiddich
7. Bowmore
8. Bruichladdich
9. Caol Ila
10. Jura
11. Lagavulin
12. Cragganmore
13. Octomore


Tommy - Guitars, Synth
Lemmi - Drums
Chicken - Vocals
Baal - Guitars
Picco - Bass

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» Islay
by UK Team

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