Dutch black metal duo Iskandr are associated with Fluisteraars, Turia, and Solar Temple, but are worlds–more like provinces–away. While much of this was evident on previous, underground gems Heilig land (2016) and Euprosopon (2018), it’s within the last few years that Iskandr has evolved into an act primed for wider appreciation and further adventures into black metal artistry. New album, Vergezicht, is stunning long-time fans and the newly exposed alike with moody advances in “Bloeddraad” and “Baken.” Today, Decibel joins the march toward Iskandr’s heralded release of Vergezicht via Germany-based indie Eisenwald with “Verbod.”
“Verbod” continues Iskandr’s autumnal view of black metal. Less monochromatic and more burnt sienna, auburn, bronzes, and scarlets blazing in the dying sun. Certainly, there’s a fair amount of haunting darkness deployed by multi-instrumentalist Omar K. (aka “O”) and drummer Mink Koops (aka M. Koops). The acoustic guitar break in “Verbod” is introspective, sullen but leads into the track’s latter half, a spooky coda that repeats slowly over the course of five captivating minutes. Indeed, there’s beauty in dying as “Verbod” closes out.
Say Iskandr: “‘Verbod’ is one of the more elaborate statements I have tried to make with Iskandr so far. The numerous tempo and rhythm changes throughout the track were a challenge, but especially the ending, I feel, encompasses a lot of what I try to evoke with the project as a whole. The lyrics to ‘Verbod’ are loosely inspired by ancient tales found in Carlo Ginzburg’s The Night Battles.”
Travel with the malignant side of the Good Walkers on “Verbod.”