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Heirs of Isildur - Heirs of Isildur vs Tales from Nocturnia

Heirs of Isildur
Heirs of Isildur vs Tales from Nocturnia
by Justin Joseph at 24 November 2021, 7:34 PM

HEIRS OF ISILDUR crafts a magnificent creation utilizing the components of Melodic Death Metal as well as the facets of Steampunk to forge a being whose cogs work in unison that weaves a magical tale, the result? “Heirs of Isildur vs Tales from Nocturnia” which represents the bands second full length album. So how is the actual release? Let’s find out!

Firstly, the positive, personally one must applaud the creativity portrayed upon the canvas to mix the ink of Metal, Steampunk coated in a comic exterior, for a combination of that mixture can be prone to implode on itself if not structured properly. Where HEIRS OF ISILUDUR is concerned the fusion of these elements are blended rather well into each other, where they don’t repel against the energy outputted by each singular component. Songs such “The Perilous Prospects of the Timekeeper” exemplifies this composition as it is the strings which expels a myriads of symphonies that forges the spirit that meanders through this song as well as the rest of the album, like a djinn that is released from its lamp, coiling and taking form within the smoke until a figure is formed, this is one of the wonders where HEIRS OF ISILUDUR thrives, for its musical output acts as the very colors that animate these nuances displayed by the aura within this album.

Usually when carving out a world warped within the confinements of fantasy, it is like spinning the thread which gives minuscule detail towards the tapestry, each stitching overlaying upon another meticulously forming images and chronicling tales with every fibre. Where HEIRS OF ISILDUR manages to capture this is encompassed within their ambient or symphonic elements…what is appreciated here is that they never feel obtuse nor falsified, rather the string of melodies that drapes the atmosphere gives the illusion of the rays of the sun that radiates upon lush forest, where its luminosity and vibrancy gives depth to an already picturesque view. “A Matter of Conscience” and “Into The Wilderness” utilizes these symphonic moments to magnify an already dense atmosphere, in other words it is like adding more texture to an exquisite painting, where one can trace the edges where the brush strokes were made, where the lines could be felt, imbuing within the creation a much more potent experience.

Another highlight that flows through the album is the vocals, in keeping with the mythical, fantasy trope, the vocal deliveries in my opinion are the spells that breathe life into this album. I have stated multiple times throughout different reviews, if an album must be extreme, then let its aggression or technical prowess flow like the waters from the mouth of the river, in that its expulsion should be natural, its musical complexities should be the result of the emotions that are cast forth. In the case of this album, the vocals adopt a harsh register, more akin to Melodic Death Metal, however, the charm that it presents itself is the air that it contorts to, as at times, the very verses that are sputtered feels they are uttered from a seer who surveys the realm like a game of chess, predicting every move. Songs such as “Welcome to the Dragon's Lair” and “Something Sinister This Way Comes” demonstrates the raw yet boisterous energy that is dispelled by the vox, binding the other factors together yet also aids in ascending the album’s overall atmosphere.

Now…throughout this review, you the reader may get the impression that HEIRS OF ISILDUR have crafted a magnificent album, a specimen that bares no blemishes, and while the spirit of the album holds many merits, it is one that cannot manifest itself completely within the realms of sound, for what I mean is that the album’s gravest enemy is its own production. While the elements I mentioned above are grand, the mix upon the release compresses all these components in an unrefined way as to condense its sound where it should be granted the space the breath …to ebb and flow, however due to the production chosen, it constricts and suffocates in my opinion the components that would have made this a rather perfect release. I shall iterate, the album once anatomized and discerned to the finest detail, one will discover the gleaming gem that is hidden, but…it is the mix that shrouds the diamond within its shell of coal.

Overall, I will commend the ideas that are present on this album, as well as the musical talent, for as a whole, it is commendable effort, but what hinders it from reaching perfection is the production, had it chosen a different route I believe this would have been the needle and thread that stiches everything neatly together.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 6

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. The Perilous Prospects of Shadow's Haven
2. The Perilous Prospects of the Portals
3. The Perilous Prospects of the Timekeeper
4. A Matter of Conscience
5. Nightmare Scenario
6. A Kingdom in Shambles
7. Something Sinister This Way Comes
8. Into the Wilderness
9. Welcome to the Dragon's Lair
10. Kindred Spirits
Lineup:
Matt Knowles - Guitars, Vocals, Keyboards, Programming
Record Label: Independent
     


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