Isles & Glaciers debut album worth the wait

Charlie Steen

When seven very talented and proven musicians come together to create a project, the expectations of the record are going to be set very high, especially when three unique, recognizable and talented vocalists are co-fronting the project.  After waiting over a year to hear the finished product, Isles and Glaciers debut EP, “The Hearts of Lonely People,” was well worth the wait.

With Craig Owens (Cinematic Sunrise, Ex-Chiodos), Jonny Craig (Emarosa, Ex-Dance Gavin Dance), and Vic Fuentes (Pierce the Veil) all sharing the duties of fronting the project, it becomes very clear early on that this project is centered around the all-star trio.  The synth-laced songs take a very minimalistic approach to the instrumental side of the project.  This isn’t a bad thing; it’s actually very impressive to hear musicians that have primarily come from much heavier acts (Matt Godard of Chiodos, Nick Martin of Underminded, Vic and Mike Fuentes of Pierce The Veil, and Brian Southall Ex-Receiving End of Sirens) come together and create a very progressive sound that you really can’t peg to any specific genre.

Although synthesized effects are present and quite prominent on most songs, there are moments of powerful instrumentation.

After the very eerie opening instrumental that sounds as though it came from “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” “Hills Like White Elephants” explodes with driving passion of drums and guitars while Owens bursts onto the record singing “These are veins of the way that we love/ These are the hearts of lonely people ripped in front of us.” And, for the first 15 seconds, the sound is very reminiscent of Chiodos, and then Craig and Fuentes intertwine their unique voices into the powerful, yet subtle, instrumentals, and by the end of the second song, it becomes clear that this is a rare sound unlike anything else out there.

The heart and soul of this release lies within the vocal work, and it does nothing less than leave you astonished after every listen.

While the instrumentation does a near perfect job of setting the mood to all the songs, Owens, Craig and Fuentes are at the top of their game and bring in their own unique style and sound, as well as their influences from previous projects.  All of them working together gives the album a unique feel, a mix of different emotions, and layering effect that really brings every song to its full potential.

The only thing I have to complain about this record is that it is too short, but that is expected as it is an EP and not a full length release.  The album is seven songs long, two of which are instrumental tracks leading up to full songs.

There is really nothing I can say that can put into context how well these very talented musicians work together.  These seven guys have undoubtedly raised the bar of what it means to release a great record.  If you are a fan of music, these are seven songs you shouldn’t let slip under your radar.  This underground super-group has created an EP that is as close to perfection as one can get.  It is tragic that this will quite possibly be their only release, as an album this good doesn’t come around every decade.