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Filthy Canadians - 82%

WinterBliss, February 17th, 2008

Iskra was a Bolshevik paper which translates to "The Spark." Given the name, this band obviously has a bone to pick with society and all forms of authority. They are self-proclaimed anarchists and are angry as hell.

Iskra embodies the DIY approach and attitude of underground crust/punk scene and fuses it with blast beats and other aesthetics of black metal. Their overall sound is violent and explosive; but not without a sense of melody. The band does an excellent job of taking the aggression of crust/grindcore and is able to add in catchy riffs, melodies and attention grabbing structures that make each song very enjoyable. It's a great pleasure to notice that each song contains numerous riffs and does not recreate simple and boring structures over and over again.

The vocals are ridiculous on this album. They are high, raspy, shrieks that sound like they'll melt your speakers. The manner in which they are delivered also contributes to the doom of those speakers. The screams just jump out, layering over each other at times; almost like they're barking at each other. The capture your attention and add another layer upon the already solid music. They remind me of the high pitched vocals of Extreme Noise Terror.

As mentioned earlier, as the listener you are treated to riff, upon riff, upon riff. Never does a song let up and get boring. Iskra are fairly competent in their craft and are able to structure songs with new and interesting riffs in all the right places.

Overall the production is crusty as hell. The bass rumbles and chugs while the guitars wash over with a certain crack and churn out riff after riff. While the strings do their thing, the drums are mixed perfectly and do not over power any other instrument. This is a solid release, but for whatever reason I do not find myself playing it over and over as time goes on. It has a certain charm to it and allots that charm to a particular mood and time I suppose.

With the exception of the jazzy intro to "Threat Inflation" there is not much diversity amongst the songs; which is the album's only downfall. This album was a real find, black metal+crust=win. Highly recommended for fans of Skitsystem, Extreme Noise Terror, Marytrdod, and Gorgoroth.