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Tuesday 20 July 2021

Reviews: Wizardthrone, Ison (Reviews by Matt Bladen)

Wizardthrone - Hypercube Necrodimensions (Napalm Records) [Matt Bladen]

Yep you read that right, Wizardthrone, it's a silly name for what is a silly band. Belying any one genre, their long awaited debut album Hypercube Necrodimensions is a blistering fusion of furious melodic death metal, galloping power metal, cinematic symphonics along with folk/black/groove and multiple others. The entire record is based around wizards and Lovecraftian sci-fi horror while the band itself is made up of members of Alestorm, Nekrogoblikon and Gloryhammer, so there's a lot of elements thrown around everything culminating with the 13 minute final Beyond The Wizardthrone (Cryptopharmalogical Revelations Of The RiemannZeta Function)

It has everything that the band bring to the rest of the album over a longer run time, though the longer runtime isn't that required because the rest of the album manages to be incredibly dense musically rarely letting up with the explosive audio assault. It's breathless stuff no doubt and despite the virtuoso performances and the tongue-in-cheek all-out extreme sound favoured by Devy back when he was heavy in SYL, I did think that occasionally it needed to strip back a little to stop the songs blurring into one long blast of craziness. Hypercube Necrodimensions is a bubbling pot of metal influences that rages without relinquishing even for a moment, however it can be a little tiring. 7/10

Ison - Aurora (Avantgarde Music) [Matt Bladen]

Ison is a project that was created by Daniel Ă„nghede and Heike Langhans, many will know Daniel from his time in Crippled Black Phoenix and Heike is the longing voice of Draconian. In 2019 Heike left the band but Daniel had the urge to create more music for the project so he continued by himself bringing in several guests on vocals. Aurora is the 4th album by ISON with Daniel writing/recording/producing and mixing all of the music here. Additional bass lines come from Katatonia's Niklas Sandin and synths from Mark Furnevall who is also ex-Crippled Black Phoenix. Ison's music is not for balmy sunny days, the ambient, multilayered cosmic, post-metal is emotional and cathartic. Underpinned by an uncomfortable sadness driven by an electronic thump, whispered spoken words and sterling performances.

From the fantastic, soulful approach of Cammie Gilbert from Oceans Of Slumber on Waves or the haunting mysticism of Sylvaine on Meridian, Daniel has brought some of the best vocal talent around for this 70 minute exploration though the outer reaches of musical exploration. From the shimmering Celestial featuring Gogo Melone of Aeonian Sorrow to the slower mystique of tracks like Retrograde (featuring Carline Van Roos) and the title track that features Lisa Cuthbert who has performed with Antimatter, while Penumbra has a hint of Tori Amos about it, German artist circle&wind adding her echoed style. Aurora is an experience of a record that totally justifies Daniel's decision to continue Ison as his own project, with hopefully more to come in the future. 8/10

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