Isvind are one of those really, really old Black Metal bands, founded in 1992 in Oslo under the name Ice Wind. After three demos and an EP, their first album Dark Waters Stir war released in 1996 – and then, silence fell upon Isvind. Seven years later, the split EP Kuldedød / Det Hedenske Norge came out – and then there was silence, again, until in 2011 the second album, Intent Lever, hit the shelves. Isvind had been reduced to a duo then, consisting of Goblin (drums, vocals, keyboards) and Arak Draconiiz (guitars, bass, vocals – and yes, he is the ex-Tsjuder guitarist). This time, things went really fast with Isvind, and in 2013 their third album, Daumyra, was released via Folter Records.
This long introduction serves one purpose only: To show what awaits you on Daumyra. Rigorous Black Metal as it should be, deeply rooted in the nineties and displaying those roots in every single moment. Those raging, storming, angry songs transfer me back to the times when the music those two guys present was brand new, unheard of and the darkest you could get. And that’s exactly what I like about Daumyra: There are no compromises, no surpirses – what you see is what you get, and that’s, honestly, everything I want from a Norwegian Black Metal band!
All right, there is this one notch concerning the production: This is what dirty old Black Metal sounds like when finely produced. The edges on Daumyra are still there and traceable, but I somewhat expected a little less cleanliness and a little more dirt.
Isvind has always been accused of being something of a Darkthrone-epigone, and yes, a certain Darkthrone influence is on the first half of Daumyra – but that does not make it bad, on the contrary. The above mentioned edges give Daumyra something of its own (not to mention Darkthrones last release that’s just … ah, nevermind). After a short intro (burning wood and icy wind – classic!) “Karst Loss” starts and kicks in in best “Transsilvanian Hunger”-style that works very well. Cankered riffs, blastbeat, hellish screams – just the sort of things I really miss in newer releases from other bands. It feels like a time machine!
“Burn the Kings” is a little more melodic, the refrain is a sing-along part that will be great live. It’s hard to get it out of your head, a very catchy tune and yet as rudimentary as you can get. Variations in the drumming? Nope. Why should there be? It’s easy to forget, thanks to all those bands that spawned in the penumbra of Norway all over the world in the years after Varg Vikernes set fire to churches, what Black Metal really sounds like; first and foremost that it was meant to be the musical expression of pure hatred, evil, and a cold rage – and that’s what Isvind delivers on the first half of Daumyra.
“The Dark Traverse” unfolds itself around a rather melodic riff and has an almost groovy sound, but that is not making the song more comfortable. With “Myra”, things get a lot more atmospheric, but “Specculum” puts an end to that immediately and brings back the raging storm. Last song on Daumyra is “Klabautermann”, a complex piece that features clean vocals that come unexpected. They add excellently to the stormy-gloomy mariner-mystery-sentiment „Klabautermann“ evokes, supported by midtempo passages that effectively transcendent the typical Black Metal scheme.
Daumyra is a must-have for those who call Dimmu Borgir “pop music” and start vomiting as soon as Mystic Circle’s on. Isvind deliver everything I want to hear on a Black Metal album and prevent me from having to listen to A Blaze In The Northern Sky for the umpteenth time – all hail!
01. Kast Loss
02. Burn The Kings
04. The Dark Traverse
05. Djevelens Lende
Total: 39 minutes