Thursday 31 January 2019

ISLA FORTUNA ~ VERITY ..... review

Cyprus may not be in the same league as Sweden, Poland and Greece in the European underground rock stakes but the tiny East Mediterranean island is nonetheless attempting to divert ears their way. The first band to raise awareness of Cyprus's small but burgeoning underground rock scene to a wider more international audience were Limassol psychonauts Arcadian Child, now following closely in their stead comes another lysergic laced combo, from Larnaca,  a trio going by the name Isla Fortuna who have just recently released their debut album "Verity"

Desert Psychlist supposes some would describe Isla Fortuna as a progressive band with stoner psych tendencies but then that would still not get a handle on their sound, they could just as well be called a stoner/psych band with progressive leanings. The truth is they are both these things and more, a band who can as easily take off on a complex and intricate tangent as they can hammer down a raucous riff or head off on a heavily lysergic jam. Isla Fortuna are that rarity in rock music a band that is as loose as it is tight and as tight as it is loose,  a band unafraid to experiment yet disciplined enough to keep things compact and focused when the groove calls for it. Those grooves are expertly driven by the drums  of Stefanos Eliopoulos, his solid yet fluid percussion shifts from intricate and precise to thunderous and pounding in an instant, the drummer combing with Nicolas Fournaris' big booming bass to lay the foundations upon which guitarist Lykourgos Xenophontos decorates with a mix of simple crunching riffage, complex chord progressions and swirling solos. Bassist Fournaris also supplies the vocals his voice, a unique blend of gothic indie and traditional doomic, adds an extra layer of left of field quirkiness to proceedings and takes the albums, already pretty high level impact, to another plane altogether.

Cyprus might not yet have stamped its mark on the underground rock map, in the same way as some of it's European cousins, but while there are Cypriot musicians of the calibre of Isla Fortuna who are making albums as mind blowingly good as "Verity" then it won't be too long before Cyprus becomes another go to destination for those looking for quality grooves.
Check 'em out …..

© 2019 Frazer Jones

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