Easily my favourite album of 2010 so far...

“Condemned” is the new offering from Derbyshire metal band Isolysis. The album, made up of 9 monster tracks of power ballads and kick-ass anthems that would have been just as at home in the 80’s as they are today, cover a range of themes including drugs and uh, vampires. I first discovered Isolysis at Hammerfest II (March 2010) and was eager to find out whether their recorded material could live up to their passionate live performance.

Kicking off the album is ‘Ties That Bind’; such is the infectious nature of this song that I remembered it instantly from Hammerfest and was humming along before I realised. ‘New Disorder’ follows with more catchy guitar riffs and edgy lyrics. Title track ‘The Condemned’ comes next with an astonishingly fast galloping bass line.

‘Locked in Torment’ will take you by surprise as it completely changes the direction of the album and gives you an insight into why Isolysis is so special. Until now the songs have been loud, aggressive and in your face ��" stereotypical metal ��" but with this song, the pace of the album slows and a tidal wave of emotion washes away the aggression. ‘Lead the Blind’ continues the slower pace, a beautifully moving song that sent shivers down my spine, particularly during the soaring guitar solo.

‘Wake the Fallen’ returns to the powerful metal heard at the beginning of the album. The raw power is quite breath-taking, the drum beat bludgeoning the listener to within an inch of their life!

‘The Needle’, a song about drug addiction, stood out the most for me; Bane and the guys cover the issue sensitively but realistically and this should be applauded. Here we also hear Bane’s metal scream, used to great effect to portray the emotional climax of the song.

‘Prophecy’ is another song that stood out for me due to its intricate timing. It really shows off the band’s collective talent; definitely one of my favourite tracks.

‘Vampurity’ ends the album all too soon for my liking. Completely relevant as vampires are the new fad in the UK, the song features another of Bane’s awesome, bloodcurdling metal screams. The song ends the album on an uneasy note, leaving you hanging, desperate for more...

Isolysis never cease to amaze me, not only because of their music, but because they are such nice guys. Genuinely thankful to their supporters, I don’t think I’ve ever warmed to a band as quickly as I did to Isolysis.

Let’s face facts, the current metal scene isn’t looking too bright. There’s very little originality in the genre with the majority of new bands trying to recreate the magic of the shock bands of the late 90’s/early 2000’s. I mentioned earlier that I think Isolysis is a special band and this is because they’re not afraid to take risks; far from copying the current metal bigwigs, they’ve produced a wonderfully believable album that doesn’t rely on shock tactics to attract fans.

“Condemned” is easily my favourite album of 2010 so far.

Isolysis is vocalist Bane, guitarist Dan Monic, bassist Dan Syndrome and drummer David ‘Rockstar’ Ruffin.