Mention the city of Bergen to a black metal fan, and he or she will likely bend your ear for at least an hour talking about its significance in the early days of Norwegian black metal – Varg, Immortal, Gorgoroth, the church burnings, etc. Those, however, are far from being the only troubling events in the city’s history. For example, consider the Isdal Woman, whose partially-burned body was found by a man and his two daughters while hiking in the Isdalen Valley in November of 1970. The still-unidentified woman’s death from a combination of sleeping pills and carbon monoxide poisoning is one of the biggest mysteries in Norwegian history.
Seattle-based blackened hardcore band Isdal take their name from the infamous case, and it’s an apt moniker given the unpredictable, incendiary sound of their forthcoming two-song Demo. On the surface, the two tracks couldn’t be any different from each other. The first, “Reduced // Returns,” is a 70-second blast of furiously abrasive grind. We’re premiering the second, the lengthier and decidedly more complex “Weight in My Spine,” here today at the Vault, and it’s a positively tantalizing taste of what’s to come from a potential full-length. In some ways, Isdal sounds like a particularly foul-tempered Botch on the track, as they slowly build from a sludgy, sadly melodic opening to its claustrophobic, senses-grating crescendo. Or to put it a bit more simply: this is the good shit, Vault Hunters. Best experienced on headphones, at a volume just shy of painful.
Demo will be available on July 13. Keep an eye on Isdal’s Facebook page for ordering info.