Band Isenmor’s new album Shieldbrother features different kind of metal music
By Christina Stock
You know you are getting old when “your” music plays on the oldies station. The birth of the heavy metal genre is — as it is for most music styles — floating. Music historians do agree, however, that the first commercial success came in the 1970s with bands like Black Sabbath, Judas Priest and Deep Purple. When the 1980s came around, heavy metal had a strong fan base throughout the world. The popularity began to commercialize the genre, and it was no surprise that a new evolution would take place, taking the music into directions the original bands might have never imagined. Today, heavy or “light” metal is still evolving, adapting and being nourished by new musicians who make this music theirs. Even in Roswell, we have quite a fan base of heavy metal and Christian death metal among the younger generation.
There are now sub-genres of metal music that are regional. Such as in the band Isenmor, which considers itself as being a historical folk metal band, imagine Vikings with violins, electric guitars and drums. The band is based in Maryland, which is a haven for folk metal. Their songs are rich on legends going back to Anglo-Saxon, Scandinavian and even Germanic tribal lore. The songs on Shieldbrother feature a wide variety from furious, sorrowful, surprisingly harmonic and even a wild and fun drinking song, “Drink to Glory.” The band’s signature style is a battle of violins of all things, and it works. The violinists are Nicholas “Nick” Schneider and Mark Williams.
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In a phone interview, Schneider talked about the band and the new album. “The band has been together for five years,” he said. “I wanted to play violin and heavy metal. The idea of playing fiddle music in metal, this was the best option (for me) to play in a metal band.”
Asked about the creative process, Schneider said, “Our songwriting is definitely collaborative and part of the challenge of songwriting is that we have seven band members. We have options on how to write a song, like putting in harmony, but at the same time not overdoing it. When somebody will come up with something, then some will have a metal rip, and I figure out to stay on top of that without taking away the original course. Definitely a lot of back and forth and we spend a lot of time editing because it takes a lot of tinkering to find the right balance on what we’re writing.”
The timing was spot on for the band and Schneider said they had not really been negatively impacted by the pandemic until now. They had been busy with editing the album. “With the album coming out, it let us focus more on the promotion and working on the kick starter. Of course, not being able to do a show or doing a show leading up to the album and promote, we’re making the best of it and do most of it from our computers,” he said.
“Since we took so long with this album, we will take a break (from performing). We’re going to take advantage of the quarantine and will get back into songwriting right now,” Schneider said.
The band has hopes to get out and do shows again as soon as they are able to. “We’ll see to get out further; we’ve only done shows in the eastern part of the U.S. Then, we’ll make sure that the next album will not take as long. And see parts of the country that we haven’t played before,” Schneider said.
“Check us out on Spotify or anywhere else. We’ve got a pretty wide range and if you like folk metal, you’ll find it on our album. We came out with a few different angles,” Schneider said.
According to Schneider, their band Isenmor is represented throughout all social platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram and Bandcamp.
Isenmor previously released in 2015 the EP “Land of the Setting Sun” and in 2016 “Saxon Shore.” Together since 2014, the band has shared the stage with numerous international metal acts, and has had repeat performances at the Maryland Folk Metal Festival and Pocono Folk, Pagan and Viking Metal Fest.
Other members of the band are Peter Lesko, lead guitar; Jon Lyon, keys and vocals; Tim Regan, guitar and vocals; David Spenser, drums; and Mike Wilson, bass and vocals. Schneider is also a vocalist.
For more information, visit isenmor.com.