Isole – Anesidora

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Isole - Anesidora
Isole – Anesidora

Reviewed: February, 2023
Released: 2023, Hammerheart Records
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Simon Wiedeman

The four piece doom metal band ‘Isole’ formed way back in 1990 under the name of Forlorn. It wasn’t until 2003 the band changed their name to what we all now know and love. Two members of the group also play with doom/black metal band Ereb Altor, showing how hard working they are. The former act have unleashed 7 LPs and their latest full length album ‘Anesidora’ will be released on the 10th of March, 2023. They will be touring in the same year. Their music is filled with great harmonies, clean singing with some growls, huge riffs and some tasty surreal solos. The song structures are intelligent and the band experiment with layered soundscapes. They are for fans of Anathema, While Heaven Wept, and Candlemass.

Wow. As I’m listening, I’m genuinely having a hard time trying to think of a reason not to give this band a full five stars, but I’ve been warned only to give such a score very rarely. It just seems that everything is done so expertly! :O The singer in particular has a great delivery (I’m almost reminded of Opeth’s lovely warm voiced frontman) and the melodies he sings are just excellent. A more or less constant, wide range of notes get sung that fit the dramatic harmonies perfectly. No bum notes, far from it! So yeah, the real skill comes from their sense of taste rather than a need to shred all the time and to use complex time signatures just for the sake of it. What I find particularly tasteful is the way the vocalist’s style whilst powerful isn’t as forceful as his backing, so you get interesting layers. Rather he sings with a more but not overly sensitive emotion. I’m not saying he sounds SWEET or anything, I’m just saying he’s the kind of person you can hug in a crisis maybe?? Maybe he’d take offence to that, I don’t know.

The band’s sound is dark (of course it is, it’s doom metal) but it’s eerily beautiful at the same time. Think goth bands such as Lacuna Coil in terms of tone. Ah, I’ve found something to criticise. It’s not a strong criticism, but it’s something: After a harder listen, some of the instrumental sections are a little dull. The singer gets the most attention but when he takes a break, how about the guitars playing a more important role every now and then? The album is lacking in killer riffs, instead they seem to be more about creating a grim mood, rather than being truly catchy. A bit of a missed opportunity from Isole it seems. Such sections don’t last long, but if the band want that extra special five stars, that’s the kind of thing they’ll have to address. To be fair though, some instrumental sections are fairly decent. But never as good as the singing. 

In conclusion, think Candlemass in terms of instrumentation but simplified and often combined with ambient black metal distorted guitars and synths. The vocalist has a relatively mild delivery much of the time, although he does sometimes sing more panicky parts, and he always sings perfectly in tune and with great control. The fusion of styles is intriguing and very pleasing, but not too many styles have been utilised and that’s fine. Let’s not go crazy. I’m not sure how much the occasional growled vocals really add to the sound, but they certainly don’t spoil things. Maybe the album is lacking in variety just a little bit and could do with some faster tempos/more varied moods, but on the whole this is great doom metal that is very well thought out, kind of spacey and surreal, and passionate, too! Strongly recommended!


1. The Songs of the Whales
2. Forgive Me
3. Monotonic Scream
4. Twisted Games
5. In Abundance
6. Open your Mind
7. Vanity

Band line-up:
Daniel Bryntse – Guitars, vocals
Crister Olsson – Guitars, vocals
Jimmy Mattson – Bass, vocals
Victor Parri – Drums