I’ve only recently discovered Welsh one man Black Metal project Iselder, but in a short space of time the musical machinations of Gofid has become a firm favourite. ‘Shattered’ continues Iselder’s prolific release rate but if you are worried about over-saturation then worry no more, the quality is strong with this one. Plus, Iselder comes with an interesting little back story that feeds directly into opening track ‘8:54’, for that was the time that Gofid was arrested for suspected terrorist activities due to an Iselder T-Shirt with the phrase “Burn your local holiday home”. (The authorities genuinely believed he was part of some Welsh nationalist terrorist organisation) And so as the opening track crunches through some rigid Black Metal riffs, Gofid is heard to screech, “You do not understand, I am not one of them”, before repeatedly shouting “I’m not a terrorist”. Like I said, an interesting story behind this EP, and a belter of a track to get things underway.
The EP itself if a fast paced opus with definite nods to Blackened Thrash influences. Sound wise the straight forward riff-age is front and centre with a solid back line of fast paced drums to keep the aggression flowing. Not much in the way of blast-beats on this one, the EP is more rhythmic, very catchy and grooves superbly well. I’d go so far as to say that ‘Shattered’ isn’t about brutality, or ravenous Black Metal savagery. No, what ‘Shattered’ feels like is ostensibly about is making you move. It would suit a live setting perfectly so I live in hope that one day Gofid get’s his recruiting head on and gets things going on the stage.
Nor is the EP one dimensional. There are some chunky chugging riffs, superb pace changes, and some growled vocals that suit your average Death Metal band very nicely indeed. ‘Shattered’ then is more than anything, a fun release, despite some of the negativity and hardship that went into it’s making, and also in spite of Iselder’s ability to slow things right down and inject some truly menacing atmosphere into proceedings. Listen to ‘Butcher’s Apron’ for that, probably my favourite track on the EP.
I can’t imagine why anyone would consider Gofid a terrorist. Maybe they heard the EP’s final track ‘Cymru Am Byth’ and it’s lyrics of ‘Wales Forever’ and then him repeatedly shouting ‘WALES’, and got the wrong end of the stick? Who knows? But I love this EP. Maybe tone down the T-Shirt slogans though Gofid, if the authorities in your area are that jumpy! (Luke Hayhurst)