Finland/Netherlands's Iku-Torso have returned with a new recording which shows the music going into more of an old school pagan black metal direction and this is a review of their 2020 album "Pakana" which will be released on May 15th by Wolfspell Records.
Tribal style drumming starts off the album along with some melodic and grim shamanistic chants a few seconds later. All of the musical instruments have a very powerful sound to them while the synths also give the songs more of an atmospheric feeling when they are utilized and when guitar solos and leads are utilized they are done in a very melodic style.
The riffs also add in a great amount of melody while the vocals are mostly grim sounding black metal screams. the riffs also add in a great amount of melody along with the faster sections of the songs bringing in a great amount of tremolo picking and blast beats which also gives the music more of a raw feeling.
Most of the music is also very heavily rooted in the 90's second wave tradition along with the songs also adding in a decent mixture of slow, mid paced and fast parts as well as one track also introducing spoken word parts onto the recording and as the album progresses some of the guitar leads also start bringing in more of a modern and atmospheric style.
Acoustic guitars are also added on a later track and also add in a touch of folk music and the closing track also introduces flutes onto the recording. The production sounds very dark and raw while the lyrics are a concept album based upon a pagan's protagonist's journey at the unforgiving wilderness of ancient Kainuu in the days of the old gods.
In my opinion this is another great sounding recording from Iku-Torso and if you are a fan of old school pagan black metal, you should check out this album. RECOMMENDED TRACKS INCLUDE "Kuolemason" "Ultionis" and "Solace". 8 out of 10.