Archive for Blekinge

Istapp – Frostbiten

Posted in Black Metal with tags , , , , , , , on August 18, 2015 by Badass and Grim

Istapp-Frostbitten

Are you feeling a little toasty after 3 months of Ra’s searing attention (or just uncomfortably sweaty following a similar period of muggy cloud-cover if you’re in the UK)? Worried about your supply of tundra-based shredding due to the increasingly acrimonious fallout from Abbath’s departure from Immortal? Then worry no longer, Istapp’s “Frostbiten” should more than tide you over.

Istapp have been active since 2005, based in Sweden, with a 5 year gap since the release of 2010’s “Blekinge”. They are also endowed with the frankly brilliant “Encyclopaedia Metallum” thematic heading of “Winter, anti-light, anti-sun, absolute zero”; so get back in your box hateful sky orb! Having been a fan of “Blekinge” I was keen to hear what lay in store with this second full length offering from the frost lords.

Although lyrically it is easy to reach for the Immortal comparison, Istapp are much closer to the duel guitar harmony wielding style and heavily rhythmic vocals of Taake, although notably more jaunty due to the folk influence. Title track “Frostbiten” combines all those aspects that most appeal about Istapp, swaggering out of the gate before dropping into the blast beat driven verse which compounds it’s intensity before soaring into the ancestral chant of the chorus, juxtaposed against the continuing rage of vocalist Isar.

Equally brutal is “Må det aldrig töa” proceeding moodily to the 50sec mark before a grim torrent pours forth, I hope you brought your thermals, because this shit is going sub-zero. What’s that in the distance? a helpful swede shouting from the opposite mountain, too late, the blizzard has resumed and pulled him down into a gaping chasm of whirling sterility below. Find your own way home.

Many of the tracks tend to swing between bass-blasting hail and upbeat folk riffing before inevitably both give way to more of those heroic tundra power-stance inducing guitar melodies at which Istapp so excel. It’s like eating spoonfuls of frosting [pun intended], you know there are more complex and balanced diets out there, but its so god damn tasty.

In this vein “Vinterland”, “Primim Frigidum” and “Vit Makt” should have you strolling manfully around on a hallucinatory tundra quest, while confused passers-by look on at the guy pulling exaggerated grimaces on his way down the Morrison’s freezer aisle, before being escorted out for smiting the discount stand with some frozen cod.

While there isn’t much variation across Frostbiten, Istapp do not overplay their hand, and by keeping the total record length at a well paced 36 minutes deliver a collection of hard hitting and well executed ice-storms. I feel cooler already, roll on the Fimblevinter.

Stay Frosty

Deej

7/10

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