"Isolated Intelligence" is the 2nd full-length studio album by Austrian black metal act Eschaton. The album is a self-released affair, available from March 2012 as a free download on the band´s Bandcamp page. It´s also possible to purchase a physical digipack version of the album. Eschaton was formed in 1998 under the Dominus Satanas monicker, and released a couple of demos under that name before chaning their name to Eschaton in 2002. They released their debut full-length studio album "GodMode" in 2004 and the "An Instrument of Darkness" EP in 2010.
The music on "Isolated Intelligence" is technically well played black metal. Artists like Dødheimsgard, Code, and when things are most technical Drottnar, come to mind. I wouldn´t exactly call the music tech black metal, but the musicianship is certainly on a high level. The vocals are predominantly aggressive raspy sneering delivered in a very convincing fashion, but there are both female and male clean vocals on the album too. They are not dominant though. The riffs are more defined and thrashy in nature than usual for black metal and as the case are with the above mentioned acts, the use of dissonance and open chords is a big part of the band´s sound.
The 46:25 minutes long album features 5 tracks and right from the opening track "Transcending Satanism" we´re treated to intriguing songwriting and powerful aggressive tunes. Eschaton have struck a perfect balance between aggression and more atmospheric semi-progressive ideas. Even the 15:25 minutes long instrumental "The Black Tunnel" is entertaining and interesting all the way through the pretty long playing time.
The sound production is slightly thin and dry sounding (could have used a bit more bottom), but it´s a minor issue and overall "Isolated Intelligence" is a very impressive release by Eschaton. A 4 star (80%) rating is fully deserved.