(I Hate Records) Enslain Magazine Volume 2, Issue 1 After more than a decade of demo and promo releases and line-up changes, Swedish doom-metallers Isole come to life with their first full-length. The years of defining their sound are evident; their debut is surprisingly well-developed. "Forevermore" contains some really excellent riffs, both among the chunky doom-laden harmonies with piercing lead guitarwork, and the faster passages infused with double-bass pounding. Also present are some scaling chord progressions, and a handful of guitar solos. The rhythm section is ultra-distorted and down-tuned, and creates the ominous ambience present throughout the album. The mid-range vocals are very pure and expressive. Bryntse sings or chants cleanly with a very folk-inspired style, which gives character and adds appeal to the release.
Isole reminds me a lot of Solstice, both being slow, guitar-driven doom with clean and expressive vocals. Other songs are reminiscent of classic My Dying Bride, with as much passion and misery. What's really great about these songs, which is lacking on a lot of the genre's releases, is that the tempo and mood varies throughout each song. It may start with a Viking-metal inspired fast riff and then slow down to a slower gloomier pace, switching off at appropriate opportunities. Switching the distortion on and off of the guitars, like on the title track, is also a nice effect. With the songs' seven plus minute lengths, these changes in arrangement help maintain interest, while still keeping the theme of the song intact. The final and longest track, "Moonstone", goes even a step farther, beginning with a mesmerizing acoustic folk intro, and later letting loose a shredding black metal riff with demonic growled vocals. If you enjoy doom metal, you absolutely can't go wrong with "Forevermore". If you don't, this album might change your mind.