"Closing A Circle"


Isolation are a band from Germany that have been around for several years and have released demos, a EP, and appeared on a split with Austere but this is their first full length album. Starting off as a black doom kind of band, they have shifted their focus into a more ambient, atmospheric doom rock sound for this album. This review will be short and sweet as there is not a hell of a lot I can say about this album. It is also difficult to review an album when you can never remember any of the songs that are on it. Basically while this album has its moments of musical flair, there is nothing memorable about it and believe me I have looked and listened hard. The problem is half of this album sounds contrived and is lacking in grace or any kind of fluency. Also it starts formulaic and stays that way; never to break out that pattern for its entire length. Now we all know that doom-music isn't exactly bursting with energetic performances but this album is worst than most. It is a pity because the band are obviously good players; their lacking seems to be in the songs themselves.

This album has three... or is it four?... instrumentals; it is so forgettable I really can't remember but it is these songs that seem to work best except for one, the title track which is really the only track on the album that is actually really good. This song has a catchy vibe even though it still plods along; if the album was all like this then it would rate highly. The instrumentals I speak of at least have some ambitious guitar work but one gets the feeling they overreach themselves sometimes and don't pull-off what they are trying to do; whatever that may be. The vocals also don't help; they seem out-of-tune and some of the high notes are pretty awful. The album also has some way-too-long extended pieces like 'Nomad' and these are songs that have 2 minutes worth of ideas but are stretched into the region of 7 and 8 minute epics. The overall playing seems stiff and the production sounds dull and lifeless.

There are moments littered within these somewhat tedious songs that are great ,though. There are great bass-lines, infectious sections that grab your attention but as soon as those passages arrive they are usually gone again quickly after. There is something about the atmosphere of these tracks that is engaging and these songs do hint at the fact that these songs could have been classics if tweaked, rearranged and given a shot of much-needed dynamics and some kind of energy. It is like the blueprint is there but the songs were rushed somehow. There are moments where a great melody takes place but it is never expanded upon and so this album becomes frustrating to listen to. Loads of potential in this band and I wouldn't be surprised if they do something incredible in the future but this is a disappointment. If you like the idea of a kind of ambient black-metal version of Neurosis then this might be of interest to you but yes, didn't impressed me much at all..............4/10 ( for some of the great moments I mentioned and for the potential the band possesses. )