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Isgalder - The Red Wanderer Award winner

The Red Wanderer
by Louise Brown at 12 June 2019, 1:05 AM

ISGALDER, which means "cold incantation" or "icy chant" in Old High German, got their start during 2017 in Thuringia, Germany. The Black Metal band has released an EP and a split album as well as the album I'm reviewing today, "The Red Wanderer," which came out earlier this year.

"Isthro" opens the album. It's a beautiful Atmospheric Black Metal track which is suitably epic with a lovely vocal track and music that nearly soars. "Funeral Fire" is next with a more Symphonic Black Metal sound combined with more traditional Black Metal elements. The vocals are brutal with a great deal of fury delivered in the classic Black Metal style. There's even a nice guitar solo on the track which is not as common within the genre as you might think. It's an outstanding song on an album full of them. "Soaring Mountains" has a melodic beginning with vocals that have a Folk Metal tone to them. The vocals become Black Metal in nature instead as the song progresses, but the folk influence is never very far away. Excellent guitar riffs highlight the track, adding even more to its sound appeal. The pace of the track picks up a bit, and becomes louder, too, after the halfway mark before slowing again. Another seriously good song that many metal music fans will appreciate. One word easily sums up the title track, "The Red Wanderer,": and that word is EPIC.

"Sirius Ablaze," "Ulterior Worlds," and "Empire of Ice" are all fantastic songs, too. Each one possesses a a certain level of power combined with attention to artistic detail that makes them very easy to listen to a few times in a row. I think the two stand-outs for me, however, are "Der rote Wanderer" and "Galthro".  Both songs are different from the rest of the album with reference to their overall sound and style. "Der rote Wanderer" begins with an acoustic sound that is off-tuned in an interesting manner that works quite well. When it combines with mournful quality of the vocals it becomes very compelling. Even though I don't speak much German the song managed to move me on an emotional level nonetheless because it was lovely as well as haunting. It's definitely a favorite of mine. now. "Galthro" has a distinct change of sound as well as manner versus the other tracks. At nineteen minutes long it's not exactly a quick listen, either. It's an Atmospheric Black Metal song that focuses on nature and loneliness. It is easy to visualize a bleak landscape that is always dimly lit, yet beautiful in its own dark way while you listen. The song is a good way to wrap up the album because it gives you a sense of closure as it plays. That isn't something that you find very often on a metal album so it's a nice twist.

 I would highly recommend "The Red Wanderer" because it's an album with high quality music that is also enjoyable to listen to. If you like Black Metal, Atmospheric Metal or Folk Metal I am pretty confident you will appreciate the album, too.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9


4 Star Rating

  1. Isthro
  2. Funeral Fire
  3. Soaring Mountains
  4. The Red Wanderer
  5. Sirius Ablaze
  6. Ulterior Worlds
  7. Empire Of Ice
  8. Der rote Wanderer
  9. Galthro
Grimwald -  Guitars, vocals
VRCHTR -  Guitars
Aussen Geist -  Bass
Moppel -  Drums, keyboards
Record Label: Naturmacht Productions


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Edited 04 June 2020

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