Isole was born out of the ashes of Forlorn (formed in 1991) in 2004. The doom band issued a demo and signed with I Hate Records through which two albums were issued. Lindström was a stand-in initially. The debut was repackaged for a 2007 re-release and again issued in 2009. A 7” called The Beyond was released in 2006. Album number three was released through new label, Austria’s Napalm records, in the dead of winter. The follow-up was issued a year later also in the winter. July 2009 brought a show at Rockweekend in Kilafors.
ISOLE - BLISS OF SOLITUDE - NAPALM
Finally, the metal universe has an enjoyable dose of real metal courtesy of the misnamed label, Napalm Records. Naturally, Isole is a doom metal band - the album’s name contains the word 'solitude' after all - and that bears mentioning because, very much like the band name Macabre, the word Isole likely resonates more in Europe and Canada than in the United States. So while the usual A&R guy and the graphics automaton of Napalm were on vacation someone sneaked in an actual metal band, but how good is it all? This is very good.
Isole delivers epic doom metal a la Candlemass et al, but with sharp nods to funeral doom metal and rock guitars. Whilst sorrow reigns, the big funereal riffs crash like thunder. The occasional mainstream guitar leads are something of a twist though that might have been better left outside. The album opens with By Blood and what sounds like a Def Leppard guitar tone. The bulk of the songs, however, are much deeper and heavier than that early indication. As rare as it is, Swedes obviously know how to express grief in music.
Daniel Bryntse has a haunting voice that is well suited for the band’s style. With just enough variation to keep things interesting the singer plays the perfect foil to the sadness of the melodies. The biggest complaint one could level at Bliss Of Solitude and its vocals is its penchant for chanting in lieu of singing. With the mourning being so sullen in the vocals, the amount of choral singing is something of a missed opportunity. Still, and admittedly, it serves to set Isole apart from many others. The album contains a mere seven songs, but that is simply because no bona fide doom metal band can do (maybe) without an eleven-minute closer such as this album’s Shadowstone. - Ali “The Metallian”
ISOLE - SILENT RUINS - NAPALM
Isole has returned quickly with another record full of its early Katatonia-meets-Candlessmass styling and while the band is now more refined when it comes to performance and execution, something is amiss. The songs here aren’t as desperate as those found on last year's Bliss Of Solitude, and that lack surely is paramount when it comes to a group like Isole. That’s not to say things aren’t despondent on Silent Ruins; they are, and this is by no means a happy album. But one gets a sense that things may have been rushed in an effort to release Silent Ruins on some sort of deadline, resulting a work that is disappointing when compared to the potential of its direct predecessor. That, and the vocals are mixed way too high, creating a mix that is bizarre and un-necessarily reliant on those pointlessly prominent vocals. - David Perri