Review Summary: Elitists beware, you're in for a scare.
Just take a look at my summary for a second. If that statement applies to you, the reader, then you might as well just stop reading right now. If not, then you're in for quite a treat. Istapp is a Swedish melodic/epic black metal band that was formed not all that long ago in the year 2005 and this album, Blekinge
is their debut album. Istapp is a band that mixes together a plethora of styles into their melodic black metal foundation and I'll explain to you exactly what I mean by that.
With all of that being said, they're not a melodic black metal band that is very similar to some of the earliest bands of the genre such as Dissection or Sacramentum. Blekinge
has a very modern feeling to it. The production is extremely clean and glossy. Even with perfect production, Istapp still does a fantastic job of keeping the intensity of black metal and the general cold feeling that melodic black metal should have. This is protrayed the best through the riffs.
If you've ever listened to Taake, then you can kinda get a feeling for what some the riffs sound like here. If you haven't, then it's basically a lot of fast and catchy tremolo picking with tons of melody. The Taake influence isn't the only one that is presented here. Istapp is also extremely influenced by Borknagar and Wintersun. There are plenty of other influences as well, but those two are the most prominent, other than the main Taake influence. The Borknagar influence comes from the many viking metal influences that are sprinkled throughout. Mainly in the epic atmosphere that you get from listening to this and the clean vocals. You could honestly mistake Vintersorg for being the clean vocalist here. Not like that's a bad thing. You can here Wintersun based on the slight power metal influence this has, again in the guitars. A lot of the riffs are upbeat and almost cheerful and heart-warming. I know that's a weird way to describe a black metal album, but it's just the way it is.
Like I just explained, this album mixes together many styles and goes in a bunch of different directions. You'd think it was a two hour long album just because of that, but it's just under 40 minutes, 37 minutes to be exact. So if you're someone who likes your black metal melodic and almost cheesy in a way, then Blekinge
is a perfect album to listen to. This would also be perfect for someone just getting into the genre.