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Song You Need to Know: ISUA, ‘Burden of Dreams’

A seven-minute barrage of grinding doom metal, Melbourne’s ISUA illustrate their ethos of overcoming great struggle with their debut single.

Dakota Gordon*

Melbourne’s ISUA have recently unveiled their debut effort, with the gargantuan “Burden of Dreams” serving as a powerful showcase of their “despaired, desolate breed of doom/sludge” metal.

Having first formed back in 2018, ISUA spent the last couple of years honing their craft against the background of global crises, with their music and message becoming all the stronger during this time.

Comprising members DAWN, Giant, Defamer, No Haven, and Weedy Gonzales, ISUA emerge with not only a sense of acclaimed pedigree, but with a sold-out debut show also helping prove their worth as one of the country’s most exciting new heavy acts.

Now, the group have taken the next step in their career, with debut single “Burden of Dreams” prefacing the arrival of their first EP, with I releasing on October 8th.

Describing their EP as “a meditation on chaos”, no more can this be seen on “Burden of Dreams”, which sees vocalist Mikey lamenting, “There is no hope, there is no future”, as fuzzy riffs, and pounding rhythms emerge against a hazy exterior, setting itself apart as a relentless, seven-minute barrage of grinding doom metal.

Speaking of the inspiration behind the track, ISUA refer to the making of Werner Herzog’s infamous film, Fitzcarraldo, whose production was so troublesome that it even inspired its own documentary, Burden of Dreams. Undeniably, it’s clear that both ISUA’s origin story and new single revolve around the ethos of overcoming a great struggle.

“German director Werner Herzog begins work on his 1982 epic Fitzcarraldo but soon runs into serious setbacks, from casting problems to his own stubborn refusal to use special effects,” the group explain. “After having to reshoot much of the film because the lead actor was recast, his crew must then haul an old-fashioned steamboat over a mountain using manpower alone.

“With a resolve bordering on insanity, Herzog struggles to realise his vision, vowing to see the film completed – even if it leads to his undoing.”

While it currently remains to be seen when fans of the group will be able to catch ISUA performing live, both “Burden of Dreams” and “Anemoia” will appear on the group’s forthcoming, single-sided vinyl EP, I, which is available for pre-order from independent label Crucible Art.

ISUA’s “Burden of Dreams” is out now, while their I EP will be released on October 8th, with physical pre-orders available via Crucible Art.