In recent years Southern Lord have consistently snapped up new and old bands that play punk, hardcore, d-beat, crust or an amalgam of each.
The label’s efforts are definitely admirable, especially if it means an enduring, semi-obscure band such as Canada’s Iskra can gain greater notoriety.
Iskra are self-proclaimed purveyors of ‘anarchist metal’ due to their defined political stance, and on their latest 2015 album – only now given a full release digipak format with a 20-page booklet – their crust-centric black metal has finally been sharpened enough to equal the vitriol of their lyrics. Throughout Ruins, Iskra recall Immortal or Melechesh in their grandstanding black metal riffery, if both acts worshipped Amebix and Antisect instead of Bathory. It’s a difficult style to master, but the band’s extensive DIY experience and sheer, obvious dedication to their music and politics sets them apart as leaders not followers, and now they have the right platform.