""Anesidora" is a fine doom album, faithful to the Swedes' customary quality and their own refined, tragic style."
CHILDERIC THOR (07.06.2023)  
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For almost twenty years now, Isole has been preaching the gospel of epic doom in the finest tradition of the genre, initiated by Candlemass. But its two main members, Daniel Bryntse and Crister Olsson, are busy with Ereb Eltor, which allows them to quench their thirst for black metal with a pagan streak, and Isole is proving less and less fertile, letting too many years go by between two albums, which is a real shame. That's why each of them is looked forward to like a Grail, even if not all the Swedes' albums are quite equal. "Silent Ruins" (2009) was excellent, "Born From Shadows" (2011) a notch below. As for "Dystopia", on which we left the band almost four years ago, it immediately established itself as one of the cornerstones of their career.

"Anesidora" therefore has the onerous task of succeeding it, but this eighth offering does not present itself under the best of auspices. Depicting a sinister Victorian building whose gates are pushed open by a mysterious janitor, its cover is a dud, while none of the six compositions on its menu match the heart-rending beauty of 'Beyond The Horizon' or 'Galenskapens Land', some of the gems that peppered the previous record. In truth, "Anesidora" (Pandora's other name in Greek mythology) requires a lot of listentings to discover all of its treasures.

Undeniably, and probably more than ever, it is Daniel Bryntse's clear voice, vibrating with sadness, that is the peak of an album that is ultimately richer and more intense than it seems. The tracks are rather short (by doom standards), but all are crafted like impeccably worked goldsmiths, generating a whole range of emotions. The rhythm is of course mired in an inexorable slowness ('Vanity'), yet without sinking into a dull torpor. Grandiose gems carved from delicate doom, 'The Songs Of The Whales' and 'Forgive Me' illustrate a tone more elegant than serious, woven as much by Bryntse's melancholy vocals as by sophisticated guitars.

The result is an album that's catchier than its predecessors, but no less tragic, a seductive blend of heaviness and finely chiseled melodies. After a relatively disappointing listening, it gradually unfolds in all its splendor and subterranean charm. "Anesidora" is a fine doom album, faithful to Isole's customary quality and their own refined, tragic style.
- Official website

01. The Songs Of The Whales - 6:01
02. Forgive me - 5:36
03. Monotonic scream - 6:51
04. Twisted games - 6:04
05. In Abundance - 7:55
06. Open your mind - 6:40
07. Vanity - 6:59

Crister Olsson: Chant / Guitares
Daniel Bryntse: Chant / Guitares
Jimmy Mattsson: Chant / Basse
Victor Parri: Batterie
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