ISON

(SWEDEN)

STARS & EMBERS

(2023)
LABEL:

AVANTGARDE MUSIC

GENRE:

POST ROCK

TAGS:
Female vocals, Hovering, Melancholic
"The ship ISON takes vocalist Lisa Cuthbert on board for this 'Stars & Embers' whose length is not enough to detract from its hypnotic, astral beauty."
CHILDERIC THOR (21.02.2024)  
3/5
(0) opinions (2) comment(s)
To make up for the departure of Heike Langhans, with whom he founded ISON, Daniel Änghede had the excellent idea when recording "Aurora" of calling on several female singers rather than replacing her with just one. But he couldn't repeat this recipe, successful as it was, for the third album, this time forcing himself to recruit a new singer in her own right. He was spoilt for choice among the eight female guests who lent their voices to the successor to 'Inner-Space'. While many of us imagined him continuing a collaboration with Sylvaine, who inspired him to write the most beautiful track on 'Aurora', it is Lisa Cuthbert who finally takes over the post, which is very good too.

Little known in France, the Irish singer (and pianist) has enjoyed a fine career on the fringes of atmospheric rock and doomgaze for nearly fifteen years. Emotional and hazy, her voice lends itself wonderfully to ISON's spatial, contemplative universe. Her participation in "Aurora" proved it; "Stars & Embers" confirms it. But she's not the only one haunting this new album. Circle&wind, who also took part in 'Aurora', appear on a heady, ethereal 'Radiant Void'. But it's above all the presence of Mikael Stanne (Dark Tranquillity) that whets our curiosity. Far from his usual cavernous register, the Swede reminds us just how poignant his clear voice can be, as 'Peregrination' and 'Beings Of Light' are vibrant witnesses.

This magnificent, spectral vocal palette is the main quality of 'Stars & Embers'. This was already the case with its predecessors, with which it shares the same faults, namely a relative lack of nuance and, more seriously, a tendency to drag on beyond the sixty-minute mark. A track like 'Embers', which is sublime to say the least, would have benefited from its seventeen-minute length being trimmed a little, even if its pulsating beauty wins the day.

Faithful to its post rock tinged with drone and space ambient, ISON takes its time stretching out its nebulous framework over which Lisa Cuthbert's ethereal vocals hover. Drowned in electronic layers, the guitar is discreet but emerges in small, pointillist touches ('Luminescent Reverie'), a reflection of the care that Daniel Änghede always takes with the arrangements and the instrumental vault that unfolds with delicacy. Initially monotonous if not boring, 'Stars & Embers' is even more deserving than its predecessors. But once you've settled comfortably into the cocoon it weaves, it's hard not to be entranced by its astral, trance-like dimension, a work both intimate and hypnotic that seems to blossom endlessly...

Will the collaboration between ISON and Lisa Cuthbert survive this third (un)inhabited flight? Only time will tell, but we wouldn't mind if the Swede, despite the success of 'Stars & Embers', decided to change singer for each album...
- Official website

TRACK LISTING:
01. Luminescent Reverie - 05:54
03. Horizons - 10:01
03. Peregrination - 08:02
04. Radiant Void - 07:20
05. Astr - 08:39
06. Formations - 06:36
07. Beings Of Light - 09:15
08. Embers - 16:54

LINEUP:
Daniel Änghede: Guitares / Claviers
Lisa Cuthbert: Chant
Circle&wind: Chant / Invité
Mikael Stanne: Chant / Invité
   
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(2) COMMENT(S)    
 
 
TOWNSEND LE DEVIN
21/02/2024
 
531
0
C'est vraiment splendide. Pourquoi on a pas de groupes comme ça en France ? Ah j'oubliais Mediavolo dans un style plus pop
LOLOCELTIC
21/02/2024
  1
Tony, si tu as aimé cet album, tu dois absolument écouter "Inner - Space" qui représente le sommet de la discographie du groupe. En ce qui concerne ce "Stars Embers", sa longueur ne me dérange pas plus que ça tant cette musique est envoutante.
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OTHER REVIEWS
METRIC: Formentera Ii (2023)
POP - The majority of the tracks on 'II', which could be considered as offcuts from the first 'Formentera', are not up to the standard Metric is used to offering.
THE SMILE: Wall Of Eyes (2024)
ALTERNATIVE ROCK - The Smile continue their work of sonic deconstruction in 'Wall Of Eyes', a complex succession of protean motifs blending shoegaze, post-rock and progressive influences.
 
 
OTHER(S) REVIEWS ABOUT ISON
ISON_Aurora
Aurora (2021)
4/5
-/5
AVANTGARDE MUSIC / POST ROCK
ISON_Inner-space
Inner-space (2019)
4/5
-/5
AVANTGARDE MUSIC / DOOM
 
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