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Iskandr - Eurosopon

Iskandr
Eurosopon
by Martin Knap at 17 September 2018, 10:45 PM

ISKANDR is a one-man project from the Netherlands by a man who prefers to be veiled by anonymity (nothing new in Black Metal, I know…). So far “O” has released one full-length album and one EP under the moniker ISKANDR and he has some music cred also due to his involvement with other local Black Metal bands. “Euprosopon” has a playtime of 45 minutes and is divided into four tracks, all of which are around 10 minutes long. I say that the album is divided into four tracks because it really feels like one compact whole as opposed to a collection of songs. ISKANDR is strongly album-oriented which I find very appealing. The music leans towards the ambient/atmospheric side – it is a branch growing out of the wretched tree that was planted by BURZUM, so to speak.

First song “Vlakte” kicks of with a dreamy intro with soft guitar chords, chanting and droning of a sting instrument, after which come sinister chord progression backed by simple a simple “tribal” rhythm; this section builds up the tension for the main melodic motif that sounds as wretched and mournful as the O’s distant sounding screams. Backing vocal chants give the song a thick atmosphere as they do on all the other songs as well. “Vlakte” transitions smoothly into “Regnum” which opens with a bit folky riff. The whole song has a mysterious vibe that reminds me of DRUDKH. In the first third of the song there is a nice atmospheric section with trippy chanting after which we get a new, more rhythmic hook. The song has a three minute long outro with soft acoustic guitar playing.

After the “Regnum’s” atmospheric outro “Verban” comes at you with full force, punching you in the face with some fast riffing and fast drumming. The song goes through different motions and transitions from an anger and despair to an almost joyful mood in the end. There are various transitions and buildups that keep the song from becoming repetitive or dull. “Heriwalt” has a gorgeous intro; the soft chords and ambient sounds transport the listener into something like a medieval rural utopia, it kind of reminds me of ambient sounds in classic RPG games. After that there comes a bit more sinister chords and chanting which foreshadow impending doom. The idyll of the intro is indeed shattered to pieces by a storm of riffs and blast beats. Over the course the song the fury burns itself out and peace and harmony is restored.

Well, this album was thoroughly enjoyable for me. As an Atmospheric Black Metal album it does, of course, rely on repetitive instrumental sections, but the music is hypnotic enough to carry you away and the song structures interesting enough to keep the listener engaged. If you like this style of music or want to listen to something more meditative or introspective don’t miss this release.

Songwriting: 8
Memorability: 8
Originality: 8
Production: 7


4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Vlakte
2. Regnum
3. Verban
4. Heriwalt

Lineup:
O – Everything

Record Label: Haeresis Noviomagi
     


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