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Relentless - 100%

iAm, January 8th, 2011

When I first heard of Iskra about two and a half years ago, I was blown away. At the time I was already familiar with Black Kronstadt and decided to check out Iskra as I learned that they had disbanded some time ago. So far nothing this band has done has failed to impress me. Even as live performers they are top-notch. Hell, the tiny venue they played in was packed full, complete with crowds outside and down the street trying to get in even though the headlining band Against Empire did not showing up. Cody and the guys are pretty stand up too and will help you out if you can’t afford merchandise or albums.

Their over-all sound varies as the band has progressed, but this is a review about their first and title album Iskra, which roughly translates in English as spark. The name itself comes from a series of documents which were published in the early 1900s as a means of Socialist propaganda. Fitting for a band such as Iskra whose members all share strong Communist and Anarchist beliefs; which are used frequently as lyric fodder.

As far as their music goes, it’s a perfect blend of early Black Metal and old-school Hardcore Punk. Think if bands like Darkthrone, Mayhem, Siege, Bad Brains, Discharge, Napalm Death, and Celtic Frost all had a bastard child together. Oh, and Motorhead fits in there somewhere as well. Without further ado, every single bit about this album is worth giving a 100%. Though the riffs tend to be somewhat repetitive, it doesn’t it flows well in this case. At the time of it’s release the vocals were one of a kind resembling screamed shouts resembling typical Punk styled vocals, but with (again) a strong Black Metal edge to them. Although that’s common today with bands like Hotbild and Order of the Vulture, Iskra were (probably) the first. Otherwise, the bass lines are godly, and they make good use of blast-bleats aplenty.

Recommended artists: Order of the Vulture, Hotbild, Martyrdod, Against Empire