|ISAW - ‘The Identity’ (Self Released)|
|Written by Mark Ashby|
|Wednesday, 06 February 2013 03:30|
Hailing from Adelaide, way down under in Australia, ISAW certainly know how to throw down a killer beat or three. Brutally so.
This debut album, quite frankly and honestly, is a beast of an album. No, make that an absolute monster of an album. It brings together a wide variety of influences, the most extreme elements of death metal, the intensity of industrial, a hardcore attitude, the songwriting sensibilities of classic metal and the angst of metalcore, into a glorious whole of an album that literally explodes from the speakers and takes your head off at 50 paces.
Opener ‘Catch 22’ takes no prisoners right from the outset, Kim Fiddaman’s percussive assault and Matt Kavanagh’s amazing vocals, imagine Jesse Leach crossed with Randy Blythe and Phil Anselmo and you’re sort of halfway there, immediately setting the extremely high standard for what is to come, as the track itself speeds up, slows down and twists in and around itself, introducing, amidst its beatdown, melodies and harmonies that just cry out for repeated listening. ‘The Black Stone’ easily faces down Chimaira, Strapping Young Lad and DevilDriver in a single confrontation – and we’ve only reached the second track, for feck sake!
As I said, there’s a myriad of influences at play, ‘Shot Down’ lends more than a passing nod to early Machine Head, ‘Gods For Guns’ and ‘Sickness In Visions’ mix hardcore and thrash to great effect, ‘Remember Shame’ has a very Ministry feel to its main riff and chorus, and ‘Drones’ could be what that much-rumoured Pantera-with-Zakk-Wylde venture might end up sounding like. The highlights for me, however, are the immense ‘Blood Stains The Memory’ and the short sharp shock of ‘Horizons’: two terrific songs, which combine groove and melody to stunning effect.
If you’re into any of the bands I’ve mentioned in this review, then I highly recommend that you click the little link thing below and grab yourself a copy of this stunning juggernaut of an album.