The cold northern pagan spirit is alive with Finland’s IKU-TURSO’s latest album “Storm over Isengard”. The six track tribute album of skull shattering black metal pays homage to two of the genre’s greats ISENGARD and STORM and includes a cover of SATYRICON’s “Jij Die God Haat.”
Kicking off the album is “Myrsky Nousee”, the pagan chant prepares the heathen listener for the next 18 minutes of bestial fury. “Winterwoods” keeps this energy up, a full assault of profane pagan merriment; harsh vocals set over wicked distortion drape the listener with malevolent brutality.
The album moves into more melodic territory with “Portit Pohjolan” but none of the evil that has so far been experienced has been lost. This melodic turn continues with my personal favorite track “Sapphire Dreams” which has those folky interludes I’m so very fond of and throws them into the mix with crushing guitar riffs and inescapably raw and tortured vocals.
The album winds down with “Myrskyn Jälkeen” a slow and steady lull before the cover of “Jij Die God Haat”. As far as covers go, it’s very good, just similar enough to be respectable and with enough of IKU-TURSO’s personal flavour to be a great standalone track.
The album is a breath of fresh, cold air against the current tropical heatwave I’m writing this from, and the menacing vocals send welcome shivers down my spine. Overall, it is a pleasant mix of traditional black metal with an abundance of folky and pagan bits. Sitting around 20 minutes in total, it’s a good appetizer for what one can hope is a full length in the near future from IKU-TURSO.
Label: Wolfspell Records
Release date: August 8, 2019
Written for Blessed Altar Zine