Another beautiful bastard of an album…
Review by Jason Guest
Release date: 26 June 2015
It’s always a good sign when the first track of an album takes you by surprise, isn’t it? With opener ‘Flommen’, an angelic chorus sings us to the heavens, pounding drums and huge chords thunder in after about a minute, a dark melody enters the fray and then hell is unleashed with rabid riffs and a savage vocal delivery. With the angels joining us once more, Norway’s Isvind’s sinister strengths are unleashed for a full six-minute slaying.
With ‘Ordet’ and ‘Himmelen’ to follow, Gud is already as grim, as dark, and as belligerent as its predecessor, 2013’s impressive Daumyra (reviewed here). Vitriolic and toxic, there’s no bullshit or filler to be found anywhere here. Everything has been stripped back time and again to get to each track’s and Isvind’s blackened core. The production is solid, the musicianship outstanding and the band’s compositional skill has become more refined. Melodies move between the majestic, the merciless, and the melancholic; riffs burn with an eternal fire; drums drive and augment the northern blaze; and the merciless vocals of Goblin and Arak Draconiiz are executed with a precision that intensifies the whole experience. And where ‘Flommen’ made a more-than-impressive opening statement, closer ‘Spiret’ rounds out the album with the confidence, skill, and poise maintained throughout these nine towering tracks.
Drawing deep from the void and summoning up every force hidden in the bottomless pit to fortify the brutality, it’s evident that compromise is not a word found in Isvind’s vocabulary. And with unadulterated evil woven into every ounce of this mighty beast of a record, its majestic mirk is dense, haunting, and unremittingly powerful. Yes, with Gud, Isvind have delivered another beautiful bastard of an album.
9 out of 10