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Ice Age - Breaking the Ice

Ice Age
Breaking the Ice
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 24 December 2017, 11:47 PM

It is always good when someone remembers, urges for a comeback, because it is now or never, left dead in the corner, or reach out for a breath of fresh air. I have never been properly introduced to classic driven Thrash Metal from Sweden. Surely over the years the Swedish scene has been developed through Death / Black Metal and a fine heritage of the traditional kind of the genre crossing the 80s, but something that could be lined with American or German powerhouses for instant in Thrash, not quite I believe. I might be wrong, but there are, and were, certainly not enough examples.

The story continues with the re-emergence of an old icon named ICE AGE, apparently creating itself a solid fanbase throughout their years of activity in the 80s right until shutting the door at the beginning of the 90s. Led by its original vocalist / guitarist, Sabrina Kihlstrand, along with her partner in crime from old times, bass player Vicki Larsson, ICE AGE were one of these bands that didn’t really need to release a full-length in order to strengthen their influence locally. The thing is, as it seems, that they never reached beyond that. Three years ago they made it final that they are coming back, newly signed to GMR Music Group, the foursome crew issued the band’s debut album, “Breaking The Ice”. Clearly a suitable title for the situation they were in and their plans for the future. At least this time around, only half of the material in play is fairly new while the other half is comprised of re-recorded old songs out of the band’s 80s period demos. This clash of old and new, along with the band’s experience, demonstrates a band on the charge, ready to break some bones. I guess that you would have to be prepared for a world of hurt is to be unleashed upon thy.

Down to business shall we? Alright. Far from being Death Metal influenced, “Breaking The Ice” displays ICE AGE’s Americanized approach to Thrash Metal, sometimes sounding technical that doesn’t relate to favorite Bay Area types, yet with several modernized traditional Metal elements that are right on the spot. To be accurate, and with a reference, ICE AGE gulped a lot of MEGADETH, and possibly have been hooked to juggernauts legacy for years. I think that it contributed substantially to the overall diversity, which flows amazingly through the bone breaking music. Probably the best evidence is the riff writing that gave life to some above solid riffs and shreds, the latter thanks to the newly recruited TYRANEX vocalist / guitarist Linnea Landstedt.

What I also found impressive was the songwriting, with or without technical showmanship, the songs themselves, at least most of them, are quite memorable. Traditionally built, the tunes are well delivered, even though sometimes a bit over stretched with “Fleet Street” as chief example. With a clear MEGADETH institution, I also felt the clarity often noticed in ANNIHILATOR records. Yes, there are some musical elements that would lead to the Canadians, and it occurred in a similar form to the MO of the songs. The newly written “Hell Or Nothing” presented a fine songcraft, intense riffing and great performance. “Clever” turned the table, certainly the band’s finest work on the album, heavily MEGADETH influenced musically, even Kihlstrand’s singing style and voice pattern may indulge thoughts of a womanly Dave Mustaine. Another newbie, “Breaking The Ice” surfaced as a straightforward shooter, a fine mixture of traditional Heavy Metal with shards of Thrash, another riffer not to be missed with capturing chorus. Out of the early material, “Mental Disorder”, like its name is a sheer maniacal riff bash while the finisher “A Case Of Cerebral Death”, letting you slide into the lifeless braindead experience, is solid art of pure insanity of a burning mind.

If a comparison is to be made within the record’s engagement of eras, I think I rather prefer the band’s fresh material than their old stuff. Might be less technical, though this notion could be fought for, the songwriting seemed much more convincing. Being able to twist one’s brain while making sure that the twist will stay there. A solid welcoming for the Swedes, please keep it up.

Purchase Link: GMR Music Group

3 Star Rating

1. Fleet Street
2. Hell Or Nothing
3. Clever
4. General Alert
5. Instant Justice
6. Breaking The Ice
7. Total Collapse
8. Mental Disorder
9. No Need To Bleed
10. A Case Of Cerebral Death
Sabrina Kihlstrand - Vocals / Guitars
Linnea Landstedt - Guitar
Vicki Larsson - Bass
André Holmqvist - Drums
Record Label: GMR Music Group


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