Iskandr Charts a Contemplative Course on New Single “Glas” (Track Premiere)
Iskandr makes music that feels historic, like something recorded during a bygone battle. Their 2021 album Vergezicht took a literal approach to this, incorporating field recordings from the Dutch countryside near historic fortifications. Vergezicht is huge in scope and mighty in sound, but it also abounds with acoustic textures, natural ambience and even chimes and horns.
On new song "Glas," a mournful, windswept instrumental work, Iskandr mastermind O spends 15 minutes exploring these softer textures more fully. Featuring lilting guitars, organs and even what sounds like a ticking clock, "Glas" still has a martial quality. Unlike the battlefield epics of Iskandr's previous releases, however, this is like a song composed in the firelight by a lonesome warrior dreaming of home.
From spare acoustic passages that gradually begin to accrue in layers, "Glas" meanders slowly from melancholy to determination. The song has undeniable soundtrack qualities, with the dirge of the organ adding tension in the background alongside spare washes of cymbal. The uplift of bells gives further grandeur to the song's final three minutes.
Iskandr's past albums each felt like sagas. "Glas" feels more like the sound of a quest through challenging terrain. If last year's Vergezicht embodied a chronicle of a long-ago conflict, "Glas" feels like the journey to what follows. There's precedent here—Iskandr released EPs prior to both of their last full-lengths, and 2020's "Het Graf" evoked a similar twilit mood. Whatever they release next, it's clear Iskandr remain ambitious to create richly textured and timeless music yet deliberate in how they navigate to the next opus.
Stream an early premiere of "Glas" below.
Iskandr released Vergezicht on September 24th, 2021 via Eisenwald. For merch, streaming links, etc, see here.