Aug. 8, 2019


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The Pitch: The true youthful spirit of metalcore envisioned by Norwegian metalcore band Iskra (members from Halcyon Days and  Vargvrede). FFO: early Killswitch Engage, As I Lay Dying, August Burns Red

What I Like: At the risk of sounding like a real geezer, there's nothing better than seeing young people start up a band. Truthfully, I'm not sure how old the members of Iskra are, but judging from the photo they're too young to have grown up with the bands to which this album pays tribute. Wise beyond their years, I guess. Early 00's metalcore went out of vogue years ago when it was largely supplanted by djent, big haircuts, and eyeliner. And yet the tunes present on Kaleidoscope sound straight out of the same era as the likes of Thrill Seeker and Alive Or Just Breathing. It' permeates every aspect of the music from those classic, melodeath-inspired riffs to the rough around the edges Underoath-y vocals. And rather than sporting the typical super glossy production of most modern releases, Iskra revel in the glory of their human imperfection. There's a certain charm and sense of character to this album that I haven't heard since Poison The Well hung it up.

EDIT: I've become the fake news. The band has informed me that they are actually my age and in some cases older. Hoarding that fountain of youth while I'll probably age like Keith Richards.

Critiques: While I say keep the overall DIY-sound, there are a few places where the vocals could use improvement. In particular the semi-rapping part on "Act Of Faith" just needs to go.

The Verdict: It seems it finally happened: classic metalcore is now old enough to be cool again. The circle of life continues. Like vintage clothing and old sitcoms, eventually everything comes back around. If so, I look forward to a legion of young adults like Iskra who are hungry for catchy riffs and angsty vocals. Lead the charge, guys.

Flight's Fav's: The Oath, Shekinah, Designated Accuser

- Review by FlightOfIcarus

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