Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Isen Torr - Mighty and Superior

Genre: Heavy Metal
Country: United Kingdom
Year: 2003
Label: Metal Supremacy

This is really a bittersweet one; more on that later. Mighty and Superior is the only release from Isen Torr, an English outfit featuring members of a handful of other awesome bands. The band is the brainchild of Richard M. Walker, guitarist of the mighty Solstice and head honcho of the legendary Miskatonic Foundation record label. Originally their plan was to release three EPs which told of the exploits of a mighty Saxon warrior. Unfortunately (and here's the bittersweet part), the band is now on hold due to, amidst a myriad of other problems, the death of vocalist Tony Taylor. Taylor's main gig was, of course, Twisted Tower Dire, one of the United States' absolute best heavy metal bands. His life ended abruptly in a motorcycle accident last year. It is uncertain whether or not Isen Torr will continue without him, and I'm not holding my breath. But tragedy aside, let's talk about the massive, sweeping, epic, timeless, unforgettable music on this lamentably short EP. It houses two songs and clocks in at just over 17 minutes, and god damn, what a 17 minutes it is! Every single time I listen to it, it takes my breath away. This is truly incredible heavy metal. Everything about it is perfect; the guitars are huge and heavy, the drumming is versatile and tight, and of course, the vocals are downright ultimate. Anyone who knows Richard Walker knows well his proclivity for amazing riffs, and they're in true form here. There's not a single wasted note at any point during Mighty and Superior, not one. The songs both clock in at over 8 minutes, yet they feel much shorter because of how hard they rule. Tony's vocals soar across the sonic battlefield of the music in a way only his voice could. There's no mistaking his pipes, and Twisted Tower Dire fans will immediately fall in love with this for that reason alone (though there is far more to love about it than just his singing, of course). The production is immaculate, with every instrument being clearly audible and suitably pummeling. The music has a larger-than-life quality to it, providing the perfect aural backdrop for the mighty tale of battle and glory purveyed by the lyrics. It's the kind of music that has you looking at the record or disc wondering how the hell they fit such massive sounds onto a small lump of plastic. As far as I'm concerned, this is a must-listen for any true-hearted heavy metal fan. Perfect.

For fans of Twisted Tower Dire, Atlantean Kodex, Solstice, and Battleroar.

Mighty and Superior

If you wish to delve a bit deeper into the history of Isen Torr, click here to check out an in-depth retelling of the band's story by guitarist Perry Grayson (who also handles guitar and vocal duties in Falcon as well as session bass work Pale Divine).


  1. Indeed, this album is a piece of art. You sir are proving once again that you have a vast and awesome knowledge in metal.

  2. It truly is! And thank you, my friend. I do my best. :)

  3. Perry here. A minor correction to your entry. I handle vocals and guitar in Falcon. I once played bass for Pale Divine on tour (2005), and I'm working again with PD--this time as a recording bassist on the follow-up to their current album, Painted Windows Black.

  4. Hey Perry! Thanks for the correction, much appreciated! I amended the post. Thank you for reading, it's an honour to have you here. Hope to hear some new Falcon soon, too! ;)