While Sweden may have the knack for producing quality and enduring bands from the black and death metal scenes, every now and again they pop out an act that manages to appeal to the more mainstream metal fan, whilst maintaining that strong sense of Northern coldness that ensures its artists remain so appealing. Stockholm based newbies The Isolation Process are one such act who are seeking to capitalise on this appeal, and with their impressive self-titled debut album should have no shortage of adherents to their cause.
Armed with a simplistic yet powerful Gojira-esque marching riff, opening track ‘A Simple Gesture’ is a perfectly honed modern metal number that combined with Thomas Henrikkson’s commanding vocal presence immediately grabs your attention. Next up is the classy and assured ‘Visions’ that flits between well-honed melodic verses and some big stonking riffs for the chorus sections that recall modern day Paradise Lost, while the morose dirge of ‘Underneath It All’ demonstrates that there are no Katatonia records gathering dust in the respective band members’ houses.
The more the album progresses, the more you realise that while The Isolation Process have a clearly signposted set of influences, they have in no way copy and pasted their favourite parts, but have managed to draw on these bands’ strongest aspects and hone them to their own ends. They have achieved this quite simply by being quality songwriters as the likes of ‘Victims of the Masses’ and ‘It Will Burn’ show, mainly by virtue of following tried and tested songwriting methods and by achieving the perfect blend of kickass, memorable riffs, sing-a-long choruses and a pinch of gloom.
After several listens “The Isolation Process” may not yield many surprises but it will keep you satisfied and entertained the way all good albums should, with all three members putting in a stellar performance. This is an even more impressive feat for a debut record and one that should be applauded. Impressive stuff all round.