Iskra - Ruins (2015, full length)

I have been following Iskra ever since 2009, for solely for the hype of 'Blackened Crust' genre. At the time when Black Metal giants like Darkthrone and Satyricon started to gravitate to punk sound, I'd begin wonder, are punk bands doing the complete opposite? In fact, many punk bands did. But only Iskra managed to combined both genre effortlessly. To be completely honest, Blackened Crust is redundant, as punk and metal both share the same traits and roots. So... what's with the hype? I guess it's just to break the stereotype that punk can't play metal and vice versa. Anyway, yeah... Ruins.


Ruins is their third full length and as they progresses, more Black Metal influence is apparent and less Crust Punk they have become, musically speaking. Lyric-wise, they are still punk as fuck. While I was let down by Bureval (a really heavy crust-black metal influenced record but lack of dynamic) and my interest waned after that, I got into Iskra again after they covered Marduk track (The Leveling Dust) in the split album with Doom Siren and hoping the upcoming release something ferocious like that. My wish is granted.

Ruins left me suffocated with its unforgiving speed and dynamic. I could actually trace Immortal and Marduk influences all over the record, particularly the latter. I personally think this record is a success in a sense that while most of the tracks are lightning fast, they cleverly employ variety in tempo to avoid feeling the album a one dimension release. The song duration also played important role in keeping me focused throughout. If you are looking for Black Metal release without necessarily including Satan worshipping and ice, Ruins is a good start. Also, it's an excellent starter for those who curious about Blackened Crust.

8/10

Visit Iskra at: Facebook and their official website

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