Iotunn – Access All Worlds (Review)

I would love to see any single person try to defy the golden age that the style of progressive death metal currently finds itself in, for I truly do believe that it has never been a better time to be a fan of it. From staples of the style like In Mourning to up-and-coming stars like Countless Skies, progressive death metal is having its own little renaissance the likes of which is all but enthralling for those of us who simply cannot get enough of what’s to be had within this sound as it can easily provide material the likes of which cannot be found anywhere else in the entire world of music. As if to back-up that very claim, it is with Iotunn and their very first full-length album that we get a grand display of power and exquisite musicianship the likes of which cannot be ignored should the band in question suffer the vastly undeserving fate of obscurity despite their talents.

Starting out their days as a space rock band, the resulting album that is “Access All Worlds” is far from the album that I would expect to see years after that inception even if my imagination were to run wild. That’s like seeing Black Space Riders shift gears into black metal! Regardless, it’s hard to deny that such a transition in style is a bold one, to say the least, but upon hearing even just one track of what’s to be found within “Access All Worlds” you come to quickly realize exactly what kind of genius is at play here as Iotunn’s performance is no less than stunning in every capacity. Even if we were to ignore the factor of surprise that the album has going for it, it’s quite literally everything else that goes into it from the diversity in the songs, raw performance from the vocals, gorgeous instrumentation from all other members of Iotunn, or how utterly magnificent “Access All Worlds” quickly becomes when taking even a brief glance at it. There is not a single weak song to be had throughout the utter entirety of this record as any one of them could stand extremely proud on their own as singles or even standalone teasers sent out randomly between albums, and it’s with all of them as the collective force of cosmic excellence that is “Access All Worlds” that they’re instantly elevated to become something so much more than what many of us could’ve hoped for much less expected.

The result is an effort that is no less than staggering, and if there is to be any speculation to be gained from any single moment throughout the whole of this album it’s this: Iotunn is not here to play by the rules of any kind with their one true goal singularly revolving around creating music that is the very epitome of unique. To say that “Access All Worlds” accomplishes that high-bar goal without one fumble would be a downright crime against the very idea of good music.

“Access All Worlds” releases on February 26th via Metal Blade Records! You can pre-order “Access All Worlds” via multiple sources here, and stream the singles on Bandcamp here.

Track Listing:
1. Voyage of the Garganey I
2. Access All Worlds
3. Laihem’s Golden Pits
4. Waves Below
5. The Tower of Cosmic Nihility
6. The Weaver System
7. Safe Across the Endless Night