Isenmor, from Baltimore, MD, USA, is a folk metal band with a twist. Combining elements from melodic death metal, viking and pagan metal, and black metal, Isenmor have created their own sound. That sound is mostly dominated by the fact that the band has two violin players, who dominate the melody in the tracks. Another element that is typical for Isenmor is that four of the band members provide the vocals.
The strength of Land of the Setting Sun lies in the violin work. The violin lines are at times festive, other times contemplative and other moment melancholic. They create the sound and direction of the tracks. The weakness of Land of the Setting Sun are the vocals. I'm tempted to think that four of the members of the band provide vocals, often together, because none of them would feel 100% comfortable as a stand-alone vocalist. Often off-key, with poor technique and dubious harmony between the lines, the vocals need to improve. The grunts are about the best part of the vocals.
The album flows from up-tempo tracks like “The Old Mead Hall”, which reminds me of Alestorm, to slower tracks such as “Pyre”. In all cases, the shining stars of the album are the violinists.
To conclude: if you play the violin and wonder if your instrument can take a leading role in a metal band, go check out Land of the Setting Sun by Isenmor.
1. Death Is a Fine Companion
3. Land of the Setting Sun
4. So Willingly Deceived
5. The Old Mead Hall
6. In My Sword I Trust (Ensiferum cover)
7. Havoc (Eluveitie cover)
8. Pyre (acoustic version)
9. So Willingly Deceived (acoustic version)