Also read: ISTAPP interview with Mordechai Von Renvaktar The Swedish melodic Black Metal band ISTAPP […]
By Panos Pagonopoulos
July 20, 2010
Istapp - Blekinge album cover

The Swedish melodic Black Metal band ISTAPP is not new in the scene being active since 2000, however it was not up until now that the band managed to release their first full length studio album. Over the past ten years the trio has released several demos which included many of the songs that are present in this record. So we can say that their debut album entitled "Blekinge", which means "dead calm", is the material and the outcome of almost ten years of really good and hard work. The result is simply a killer release that left me stunned from its first minute till its last.

First of all I must mention that the album contains a wide variety of music influences. The sound of ISTAPP is based of course on melodic Black Metal and the band is clearly influenced by the classic Black Metal bands, but they don't fear of moving away from the traditional style of the genre. While listening to "Blekinge" someone can easily notice the musical diversity, with the band taking different elements from many Metal genres and blending them with their roots carefully and effectively and as a result they managed to create their own unique style.

ISTAPP give us blast beats, impressive deep and harsh growls, killer aggressive and fast guitar riffs combined with lots of melodic elements (in some riffs I also found many melodic Death Metal elements) and even some catchy choruses coming out of nowhere. Although all of the songs have this common basis mentioned above, there are little details and characteristics in each one of them that make them unique. There are no weak tracks!

The only thing that I can consider as a small disadvantage is the Swedish lyrics, because if you don't know the language or if you can't find the translation (I searched the web and didn't find anything) there is no way you will understand them. There is a possibility that lyrics in Swedish may turn off someone but at least for me it is not a big deal since in all the other sectors they have done an excellent work. The production is good but not something special and certainly it could be better, too.

"Blekinge" starts with "Vinterriket" with tremolo, aggressive riffs and blast beats which eventually turn into a darkened groove and great chorus. Some other highlightsof the album are "I Väntan På Den Absoluta Nollpunkten" with a sing along catchy chorus with clean vocals, "Evig Köld Koncentrerad" whose first few seconds remind me of ROTTING CHRIST,"Fjällhöga Nord"with an acoustic intro and some strong folk elements, and the impressive"Snö" ( in whicha great small lick in its first minute immediately brought MEGADETH and "Hangar 18" to my mind).

ISTAPP have really done an impressive work and "Blekinge" is probably among the best melodic Black Metal releases in the recent years. An album that fully deserves your attention!

9 / 10

Almost Perfect

"Blekinge" Track-listing:
  1. Vinterriket
  2. Koldens Unionv
  3. 1160 (Miovik)
  4. I Vantan Pa Den Absoluta Nollpunkten
  5. Evig Kold KoncentreradV
  6. Sno
  7. Fjallhoga Nord
  8. Bortgang Af Alvrodul, Ljusets Forfall
  9. -
  10. Blekinge
Istapp Lineup:

Mordechai Von Renvaktar - Vocals
C. Ashuck Von Renvaktar - Bass
Fjalar - Drums, Guitars

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