Izah – Sistere (2015)
Review by Jude Felton
It’s been far too long, for one reason or another, since I put pen to paper (or keyboard to screen, if you prefer) and worked on a review, of any description. This, unfortunately, has led to an immense backlog of material that I want to cover. You see, even though I’ve not written anything, I have still had the music blaring and have had the good fortune to be able to check out some outstanding new music. One of the absolute highlights of the year, so far, for me has been this debut full-length from Dutch band, Izah.
This should honestly have come as no surprise, seeing as though the album, Sistere, is released by the consistently superior Nordvis Produktion record label in Sweden. Still, you never know until you listen, do you?
Sistere comprises of four lengthy tunes, with the shortest being a shade less than twelve minutes, and the longest being the album closer, and title track, which comes in at a whopping 31 minutes and change. For me this is heaven, as I do love an album that gives you time to fully immerse yourself in it. That’s not to say I’m averse to shorter albums, as I’m not, but I do like an epic to tackle. Believe me, Sister is truly epic.
The album itself starts off innocuously enough, and initially led me to believe that we wouldn’t be getting anything all that special. Oh how wrong could I be? Very, is the short and simple answer. For a start, you are going to want to give Sistere a few spins to really peel back the layers and unleash the goods within. It’s then that you’ll grasp the full power, beauty and majesty of this sonic behemoth.
Taking musical cues from sludge, doom, black metal, post rock and throwing in some incredibly effective spoken passages, this album punishes and caresses in equal measure. At times you’ll feel suffocated under the sheer unrelenting weight of the music, and then the next moment there’ll be sections of such beauty, that you might be forgiven for thinking you’re listening to a different album. Where Izah succeed though is that everything is so wonderfully seamless, with the natural progression, within the songs and the album itself, allowing it all to flow as one leaving, breathing entity.
Once you’ve let Sistere under your skin you will totally forget that you are only listening to four tunes, as it washes over you. I honestly should pay a visit to Tilburg (Izah’s hometown) and give these Dutch maestros a good slap, as Sistere has consumed far too much of my time. Sure, I’ve been blasting a ton of new music, of late, yet I always find myself coming back to this absolutely magnificent album.
Once again, Nordvis have released an absolute blinder of an album (and I still have four more of their releases to cover; all of which are excellent), and Izah have conjured up something darkly magical, that continues to improve with each subsequent listen.
1. Indefinite Instinct
3. Finite Horizon
Sistere is released by Nordvis Produktion and is available now.