ISON’s Inner-Space was arguably my favorite album of 2019 thanks to its sweeping, cinematic blend of metal, shoegaze, goth, and ambient. Suffice to say, it left me eagerly anticipating any new music from the Swedish duo — and then they broke up. Following Inner-Space’s release, vocalist Heike Langhans left ISON to focus on her other projects (which include the doom metal band Draconian and a solo electronic project called LOR3L3I).
Given that Langhans’ sorrowful vocals were one of ISON’s most arresting elements, and a perfect complement for Daniel Änghede’s evocative music, I was worried about what this meant for any future ISON releases. But I needn’t have worried. The upcoming Aurora finds Änghede collaborating with a number of vocalists, including Aeonian Sorrow’s Gogo Melone, Lycia’s Tara Vanflower, and in the case of “Waves,” Oceans of Slumber’s Cammie Gilbert.
Gilbert more than ably fills the hole left by Langhans’ departure, and her rich, dramatic voice blends perfectly with Änghede’s somber, slowly unfolding atmospherics. Like all of ISON’s music, “Waves” is the perfect soundtrack for staring into the night sky and contemplating your place in the cosmos while the stars dance high overhead.
Aurora will be released on June 25, 2021.