Review Summary: It could have been good.
Black/doom is an interesting concept; from the outset, one would imagine such a fusion of genres to be limitless in depth and appeal. The reality of the situation though, is that almost every band you will hear who claim to be of both a black and doom metal camp will be shi
t. It just seems to be that nobody can get the formula right; certain positive aspects sometimes do come to light, but are brought down by other very negative aspects, or the band avoids this completely by surrounding themselves in blandness. Isolation, one such black/doom band from Germany, is a prime example. This self titled album is a compilation of their A Prayer for the World to End
demo and their Hier am Ende der Welt
The first thing to note about Isolation
is that is rather well composed. Tremolo picked riffing that shapes the mood from despairing to misanthropic, absolutely beautiful acoustic passages and a cohesive union between the two, Isolation
was not disappointing in the least from a musical perspective. I’ll concede that certain guitar lines resembled a sped up Care Bears song, but this was infrequent. Ultimately, the album maintains a position of musical consistency. From the thin, typical black metal tremoloing of ‘Hier am Ende der Welt’ to the heavy riffing of ‘The Nameless and the Unnamable’, it remains diverse and very introspective.
Nevertheless, every silver lining has a rasputin. As much as the album is successful in an instrumental regard, it will never be appealing due to its absolutely terrible vocals. From the very beginning of the ‘Quiet These Colours Will Fade’, Johannes Schmid shows us how his high pitched howling can totally ruin what would have been a decent album. Asides from the fact that his screaming sounds utterly ridiculous, a lot of his growls are very amateurish; when he’s not replicating a twelve year old Japanese girl on helium, he sounds like some basement dwelling loser attempting to make his own black metal records. To give Isolation some credit, the spoken word on the second half of ‘Abschied’ works very well, ‘Abschied’ being perhaps the best overall song on the album, not only for its smooth clean passages but also because of the absence of shi
I really wanted to like Isolation
; my talk about ‘not getting the formula right’ only applies to an extent. Isolation have made reasonable success in getting a balance between the two genres, more so than I’ve recently heard, but unfortunately, as I also said, completely ruined it by a terrible vocal performance. Just stick with Forgotten Tomb.