What a nice surprise! When I saw the name Iotunn on Metal Blade’s e pool it meant absolutely nothing to me but the fact that Jón Aldará (singer of Hamferð and Barren Earth) is in the line up picked my interest immediately so I rushed into the album. The band is labeled on Metal archives as prog power metal but I feel that this is a great misconception since they are prog alright but power metal in classical sense of this word is nowhere to be found. I would rather tag Iotunn as progressive death metal and maybe I am biased but I feel that spirit of Barren Earth can be heard in this band but most notably I feel the spirit of Dan Swanö’s creation can be felt inside this album. But fear not, this is not the copy of more known names but I would rather say that Iotunn combines progressive and death metal in a brave way that can be heard in Witherscape or some Edge of sanity albums. The songs are filled with twists and turns, from blasting sections to moments of absolute tranquility so you never know what is coming up next but one thing is for sure – the band is not afraid to venture to waters vast and unexplored. On top of everything comes, of course, Jón Aldará’s magnificent delivery – I have to admit that I adore his work and he did not disappoint here either. He uses both imposing clean vocals and massive growls with equally effective result so I would even say that he elevates the music much more. The band is from Denmark but they did not make the mistake when they have found the singer from Faroe Islands – quite the contrary. It is almost unwritten rule that the bands from Denmark dwelling in progressive metal waters have something absolutely of their own to offer – take Pyramaze, Manticora or Royal Hunt for the proof of my words, and now you can add Iotunn to this company even though they are in a bit more extreme side of metal spectrum. A band to watch for sure, I somehow feel that the best is yet come!
Trifunovic Slobodan (8)