Isa Forest Passage

PODCAST: The Forest Passage 16: Echoes From Siberia (Isa)

Spring has arrived and, appropriately, this latest podcast episode is a doozie. The Siberian folk/metal/darkwave band Isa has been so kind to grant us the opportunity to premiere two of their brand-new songs. In addition, we can also reveal more information about their upcoming new album –titled Echo– including the cover art featured below. Isa may still be an obscure name in the international underground, but seeing as both their previous album and a split they appeared on made it into my top 3 of 2015, this is THE band to watch when it comes to new talent emerging from the Eastern scene. In this podcast, we take you through Isa’s work so far, introduce you to their new songs and discuss the guiding themes. Yep, it’s Spring alright!

From Heathen Harvest’s review of Isa:

This combination of humility, love of nature, introversion, and mysticism finds a poignant voice in Siberian metal band Isa’s third release, Эхо (trans: Echo). The music of Isa can perhaps best be categorized as post-black metal, but where many artists working in that genre use its emotionality to explore personal psychology, Isa’s discography conveys a personal connection to the infinite as manifested by cultural heritage, religion, and landscape. The heady mix of slow, meditative melodies and howled-but-distant vocals wraps the listener in a beauty that is at once exotic and accessible. The simplicity of compositions is belied by the strata of sounds that make up each track, elegantly layering folk instrumentation, ecclesiastical bell-ringing, and traditional rhythms alongside electric guitars, synth passages, and black metal vocals.

The songs on Эхо, like those on prior Isa releases, evoke the wilderness of Siberia. A vast area of land, Siberian Russia sees some of the greatest variations in seasonal climate on the planet. The popular vision of an unforgiving, ice-encrusted plain tells only part of the story, with sometimes too-brief summers bringing sunshine and warmth to the region’s lakes and coniferous forests. Эхо is suited to contemplating the changing seasons, with the dynamic contrast of “Дерево [The Tree]” suggesting spring blooms unfolding into summer’s richness while the spiraling structure of the album’s title track evokes steadily falling, perhaps infinite, snow.

Listen to the podcast at Heathen Harvest.

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