Isenordal’s Requiem For Eirênê is haunting, tormented Funeral Doom

ISENORDAL are different. Not fitting easily into the given stylistic drawers can often turn out to be both a blessing and a curse for a metal band. The six-piece from Seattle, WA in the United States is particularly hard to pin down. If push comes to shove, they could be described as a funeral doom act. This hardly does their musical range justice. There are also notable influences of black metal, especially the harsh vocals but also the occasional vicious outbreaks of blizzard-riffs. Then again, the metal elements are diligently balanced by beautiful acoustic passages of American neofolk.

Experience their lead single Isenordal – Epiphanies of Abhorrence and Futility [Official Teaser] – YouTube

On their third full-length, „Requiem for Eirênê“, ISENORDAL have driven the interplay and cohesion of their musical core elements to a new level. The epic, meandering, and multi-faceted songs on this album each tell a dramatic story. Lead by various types of vocals, both female and male, that flow organically into each other, a wide array of instruments paints highly dynamic and lush sonic pictures.

When ISENORDAL formed in 2013, the band grew out of their local hardcore, punk, and metal scene. This left-leaning origin is something that the band shares with US acts such as AGALLOCH or WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM and different from the background of most of the European black metal scene for example. Musically, the Americans took inspiration from black and doom metal but also other elements from the start. On the first demo „Imbolc MMXIV“ released on tape in 2015 female vocals are noticeably absent and the first line-up changed in 2016. In 2017, the debut album „Shores of Mourning“ came out with music that had been in development for years and rearranged to feature the new set-up with both male and female vocals. This was followed by another limited cassette demo entitled „Lughnasadh MMXVII“ (2017) as the band went on tour the same year.

On the following sophomore full-length „Spectral Embrace“, ISENORDAL went full in to experiment with neofolk and consequently electric instruments were left out in the making of this record. Their next sign of life was a split single with VOID OMNIA in 2019, which grew out of a friendship between the bands while touring together. ISENORDAL’s contribution consisted out of one massive track of over 15 minutes in length. When looking back at the Americans‘ previous releases, it is easy to see, how the different angles of creating music in the past have come together on „Requiem for Eirênê“.

With „Requiem for Eirênê“, ISENORDAL dare to face the curse that creating different and unique music can bring, and they conjure the blessing that an excitingly new and skilfully achieved magical sound may award. May the American funeral doom innovators reap the fruits of what they have so bravely sown!