Big events throw their shadows ahead and in the case of Ice Dragon it is very tall shadows.Their new album is going to be released soon and I was found worthy to listen to the supernatural sounds of the new album 'The Sorrowful Sun' of this monumental band beforehand. The new work will be by the way published in the solstice on their bandcamp site. For this epochal event a worthy date was chosen.
That their masterpiece 'The Burl The Earth The Aether' became the album of 2010 on Captain Beyond Zen may not have escaped the blogreader's attention. Therefore, I approached this task to review this album with great eagerness, expectations and also with a little scepticism. Can the new album 'The Sorrowful Sun' come close to the quality of the predecessor's album? Can Ice Dragon still excel their masterpiece eventually? However, can one be so presumtuous in such a way, to expect something like that? In such cases when expectations grow into the infinite, one is mostly disappointed.
First the insignificant cover caught my eye and I must confess that I am a little bit disappointed. No colourful fantasy painting, but a simple black-and-white new logo with the album title and the sun on the background which looks like wrapping paper (or it is a concrete wall?). Hmh? I do not like the new logo as much as the old one.
Let us rather deal with the music, because it has really got something! The album begins with an intro of 45 seconds with an acoustic guitar called 'Sunrise', before it really starts with 'Flowers'. Heavy guitar riffs roar sluggishly and distorts from the speakers, a pumping bass, clattering drums, in addition the siren-like vocals, an uncanny feeling - all trademarks of this unusual band exist. Relief comes over me and after a few minutes my feelings change into enthusiasm. The guitars mill a mega riff after the other from the strings and changes in psychedelic soli and culminates in pure ecstasy to then shatter like glass - insanity! This is how an Ice Dragon song is supposed to sound! Ice Dragon won me over with the first real song on the new album. The next song 'Mistress Death' begins with strange noises before a once-in-a-century guitar doom riff starts and does not let go of you anymore. Again the full holloring hypnotises me completely. Ice Dragon can simply do nothing wrong. More crashing, more clattering, sluggish, psychedelic doom which uniquely stands out in the music scenery, like cypresses from the swamps of Louisiana. A tiny breather follows with 'Light Years' played with acoustic guitars, great basslines and interesting percussion and ethereal song - a featherlight, floating song. Beautiful! Afterwards the dreamy and short intermezzo 'Dusk' follows before the first sounds from 'Interspecies Communication' start. Wow what is that? This is an indescribable, supernatural sound composition. Then I am quite leached out completely from enthusiasm and listen in 'Poseidon's Grasp'. And also this song has all typical attributes of Ice Dragon again, it starts slow and sluggishly and ends in psychedelic ecstasy. 'White Tusks' is dark, blurred, experimental, downtuned, fluent, and apparently without rhythm. With the last song 'Near Sun, On Earth' the sun rises again. Ice Dragon intone a ballad, which allows one to dream, and are also totally convincing.
The socks of all those who liked 'The Burl The Earth The Aether' will also be knocked off by 'The Sorrowful Sun' and Ice Dragon will still gain many other fans with the new album. Anything but the highest possible grade will be blasphemy.