ISUA-I EP Review. FFO: Crushing, Apocalyptic Doom/Sludge/Extreme Metal.


ISUA-I EP Review. FFO: Crushing, Apocalyptic Doom/Sludge/Extreme Metal.

There is no other way to put this; THIS IS A FUCKING CRUSHING DEBUT.
It doesn't matter if you push these devastating tracks through an oversized speaker, your headphones or via your crappy car audio, this will melt your brain and disintegrate your ears. Whilst the EP is just two tracks, the promise of what comes next will hook you, as well as the sheer oppressive nature of this release.
To throw a simple label of sludge is a touch lazy, as the EP tracks touch on many variations of alternative genres from doom, punk, post-rock, black metal, death metal, stoner metal and blackened hardcore. And this is not from a band failing to find their identity, they have simply gathered punishing weapons from various areas to concentrate on an all-out attack. The two tracks are definitely downtempo but full of vigour and colour. Opener Burden of Dreams begins grimly and the bleak tone doesn't lift at all; this miserable celebration is dynamically forbidding but comforting. The many deep textures in this 7-minute opus fill the space and duration so perfectly. Because like Amenra and similar bands with absolute dedication to their craft, riffs, beats and vocals aren't wasted. This is abrasive storytelling, sublime use of tone and every element builds on each other. The caustic nature makes you feel as you listen to this track as though you literally have the weight of the world on your shoulders. Now that is rare and impressive. 

Too many bands in some genres, particularly Death Metal, Deathcore and also Sludge/Doom settle for a predictable structure and little attention to the finer details. Not so here, everything from the quality art, the stellar lyrics and the musical skill is intelligently utilised as a means of creating intense art. Art and music should never be throwaway in any way and this EP personifies this statement. Anemoia is the second rasping piece to this puzzle and whilst the captivating stoner riff really maintains your initial focus, the vocals and dynamic bass work take you on a wild journey that shakes you and twists you with its glacial pace. And whilst the band absolutely showcase the skills from being in many solid bands and frankly, the stunning production makes everything detonate from start to the end, the extreme vocal style brings all the magic together. The vocals are bitter, discordant and relentless to the point of overwhelm with every use of them in both of the tracks. And for extreme music lovers, this is an absolute field day and demands cultish worship. A whole album of this audio abuse is well welcomed in the future and will be no doubt even more jarring on the live front than this fantastic debut. 

Out October 8th:


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