Isole are a Swedish doom metal band and this is their eighth album.
The 46 minutes of music on Anesidora is a feast of traditional doom metal, with mournful atmosphere and foreboding presence.
Isole know how to write a good doom song. Slow and moody, the music is textured by juxtaposing lighter and heavier sections, as well as the use of keyboards to add highlights in key places. Frequently layered, the compositions are well-crafted from the standard doom components, yet are given an extra leash of life by Isole’s skilled songwriting and delivery.
There are plenty of emotive guitars and a large number of very enjoyable solos. Isole can peel off riffs like it’s going out of fashion, but they can also structure these, with other elements, into actual songs that are imbued with feeling and atmospheric weight. There is also a melodic strength here, keenly felt, underpinning much of this, that helps the band to create and sustain mood and emotion in a coherent and satisfying way.
I really like the main clean vocals. The singer gives a great performance and his voice carries emotion well. Two other band members contribute vocals over the tracks too, and all of them are well-performed; one provides a more forceful form of clean singing, while the other adds occasional growls.
Epic and grandiose, yet also affecting and personal, Anesidora is a sterling example of how powerful and effective the doom metal style can be in the right hands. Isole have created a darkly beautiful record that should be heard by any adherent of doom.
Very highly recommended.