Sunday, September 25, 2011

Album Review: Iselia - Life From Dead Limbs

Just as the post-hardcore/emo/post-rock hybrid has just about run its course, the fresh faced young lads from Iselia come and turn heads. Releasing a brief but lovely EP back in 2010, the band has since garnered a respectable amount of praise. It's not often a band seemingly comes out of nowhere, demanding attention, but that's exactly what Iselia have done. Thus, the praise and attention have culminated in clamoring for a full-length debut. Well Iselia have released their anxiously awaited debut, and the result is everything a fan or newcomer could want.

To be quite honest, on Life From Dead Limbs, Iselia don't do anything new. They just do it better than anyone else. Their large range of influences allow them to have many peers, mainly Pianos Become the Teeth, Touche Amore, and even Envy. The product matches the exceptional pedigree, as Life From Dead Limbs is a beautiful, heavy, and emotional amalgamation of emo, post-hardcore, and post-rock sensibilities. The latter influence mainly deals with the more melodic passages and climaxes, as the average length songs are void of any egregious and overblown buildups. The use is effective and balances the harder influences nicely.

Life From Dead Limbs isn't a technical milestone by any means, but every aspect of the instrumentation is incredibly impressive. The band members are proficient with their instruments, and the vocalist displays enough veritable passion to come off as stunningly genuine. Add in a fantastic production, and the result is one hell of a solid work of music.

Iselia boasts a diverse track list, with songs ranging from more traditional hardcore songs, to drawn out multi-faceted tunes with more experimental leanings. It only takes till "These Roots, These Branches" before you're hooked. The brilliant meshing of post-hardcore with emo creates a dense and immersible atmosphere, while the melodic passages really make it more incredible. Luckily, just about every song follows the excellence displayed here, as Life From Dead Limbs just refuses to dip in quality.

Life From Dead Limbs will probably go down as the sleeper hit of the year, finding a home in the hearts and minds of far too little people. However, those who do in fact discover it, will find an all around fantastic and immense album that absolutely begs for repeat listens.


1. First Seed
2. Last Leaf
3. These Roots, These Branches
4. Dead Limbs
5. Assurance, Uphold
6. Homeland
7. Restless
8. At Day's Close
9. Great Kharlan
10. Roadside
11. Restless (acoustic)

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