Isen Torr - Mighty & Superior
Shadow Kingdom Records
Epic Heavy Metal
3 songs (26'10")
Release year: 2008
Shadow Kingdom Records
Reviewed by Alex
Archive review

Isen Torr is a hidden little known gift to the lovers of epic heavy metal from the likes of Richard M. Walker. Yes, the one in Solstice and most recently Pagan Altar, but also the brain behind The Miskatonic Foundation. If you ever bought and enjoyed anything bearing The Miskatonic Foundation imprint, you can purchase Isen Torr blindly. To reinforce this further, Perry Grayson (of Destiny’s End and Falcon) handles additional guitar duties, and Tony Taylor (Twisted Tower Dire) lends his voice to the effort. Mighty & Superior EP was actually originally recorded on vinyl only back in 2003, but now is available on CD, courtesy of American underground label Shadow Kingdom Records dedicated to epic, doom and classic heavy metal.

Both main tracks on Mighty & Superior present fluid woven tapestry of guitar riffs telling an epic tale. Consider the cross between Iron Maiden classic British smooth gallops and Manilla Road’s larger-than-life heroic approach. Clocking at more than 8 min each, the tracks are keenly intricate in their riffery, yet not overbearing, the perfect combination to not notice the flow of time. Weighty bottom end provides roughness suitable for battle field portrayal Isen Torr is after. To that effect, Tony Taylor is also a bit more reserved and grounded in his delivery, going more for forceful mid-range singing than with Twisted Tower Dire, but soaring to familiar heights when the situation calls for it. The demo version of The Theomachist, also present on the CD, perhaps has its value for those starting out down the road of forming their own epic metal band, as this is mostly about repeating the guitar riffs, the overall production value not as good as the final EP version.

Moments around 6 min in on the title track, where guitars sound like Scottish horn, make the EP sound even more original and nascent. This is the music which makes you run down the hill yelling “epic”, or reach out for Walter Scott or, more modernly, Bernard Cornwell book, to immerse yourself into Anglo-Saxon-British history. If you enjoy Brocas Helm, Cauldron Born, Doomsword or any of Richard M. Walker’s aforementioned bands, this would be a very worthwhile piece of music to track down.

Killing Songs :
Both of the original EP tracks are outstanding
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