Isolert specialise in Scandinavian-style second wave black metal, and I like the way they play it. Thus far, 2015’s Isolated Soul, 2016’s No Hope, No Light…Only Death, and 2017’s Towards the Great Dissolution, (a split with Insanity Cult), all satisfied, and now the band are back with 40 minutes of new music that, if there was any justice in the world, should see them propelled to the top of the underground black metal scene.
Isolert tear through their material like their lives depend on it. You can feel the passion. Thankfully the band’s songwriting skills match up to their enthusiasm, and the songs on World in Ruins are some of the best Isolert have penned.
I like how the band combine blackened violence with engaging melody and dark atmosphere. Opener Fire, Ash, Blood encapsulates this; the shortest track here, it sets the scene perfectly with its mixture of energetic mayhem, choice riffs, and mood-building melodic enhancements. Vocally the delivery is diverse, with a range of screams, howls, and shouts employed. The rest of the album is just as strong, if not stronger, and the longer songs allow for a greater exploration of the band’s sound. Songs like Extinction and especially World in Ruins cater to the band’s slower, mid-paced and atmospheric tendencies, for example.
Isolert’s melodic skills are particularly strong on this album. Tracks like As We Die grab from the very start due to this, (as well as benefiting from a very enjoyable use of bass that I’d describe as almost bouncy in places). Burn Them carries an emotive melody around the halfway mark that I feel compelled to mention too. Staring at a Path Towards Nowhere is another melodically strong song, as well as being rich in grim atmosphere and blessed with some catchy guitar parts. The slow doom sections are particularly affecting. The album culminates in the 10-minute Light…Has Abandoned Us, which crowns the album with blackened majesty.
World in Ruins is an exceptional slice of black metal. If you’re a fan of the classic, old-school style, then Isolert have crafted a superlative album that should have you in raptures.