Order Of Isaz: Seven Years Of Famine

Scandic gloom-mongers put their faith in flour power

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Hero worship can be a dangerous game and Order Of Isaz fearlessly walk the tightrope, their obvious love of Fields Of The Nephilim and all manner of old-school gothic rock writ large across every overwrought melody and grotesque flourish on their full-length debut.

But where many bands render themselves redundant by merely repeating someone else’s tried and tested shtick, this lot have both the songs and enough overt idiosyncrasy to ensure that Seven Years Of Famine is as fresh as can be. Never afraid to crank up the metallic side of their sound – The Blackened Flame is a dead spit for Crimson-era Sentenced – and yet equally comfortable delving into elegiac balladry (Dancing Shadows) and scorching pomp (Drowning), these morose Swedes are wringing vitality from a well-worn formula, vocalist Tobias Sidegård’s wavering baritone providing the blackest of sugary cake decoration.

Hitting a peak of potency on the stately but menacing waltz of Umbra Sombra and the genuinely unnerving Father Death, this is a cobwebbed triumph aimed squarely at those for whom life’s glass is forever half-empty.