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Ichor - God of Thunder God Of War

God of Thunder God of War
by Chris at 03 September 2018, 2:55 PM

Ichor is the ancient Greek word for the fluid flowing throughout the gods’ veins.  ICHOR is also the name of at least two other bands in addition to the one that remains the focus of this review.  This band was formed in 1993 and hails from Sydney, Australia.  The band released one short demo and disbanded the same year.  Wraith and Diablore had decided to focus on their main project, NAZXUL.  Thankfully, they decided to revisit the well from which the inspiration for this project was drawn from.

The album starts out with an explosion of Black Metal fury with “Spectres of the Woods”.  When the verse section arrives, the song becomes atmospheric.  Throughout the main melody is visited and revisited with different combinations of guitar parts.  It seems the band enjoys tinkering with the way the songs are framed, and this is to their benefit for though the songs are brutal and furious, there is an underlying simple melody which makes up each allowing for experimentation.

The fourth track, “Call of the Bloodthirst,” is one of the best tracks on the album.  It showcases all the sides to ICHOR’s sound.  The melody is upheld by at least one guitar throughout while another track harmonizes underneath.  This would have been at home with the other songs that made up the classic Century Media “Firestarter” compilation of Black Metal bands that came out in the 90s filled with songs by MAYHEM, ULVER, and others, and even came with a complimentary match. The final song is titled “Daughters of Wrath,” and it proves to be an essential track to the album.  Originally, it was featured on the band’s demo.  In the way the guitars shift the entire mood and with a marked intensity, it’s impossible not to think of the first EP by ENSLAVED.  After flirting with dissonance, the melody is always revisited.

Listening to this album, one cannot help but wonder what would have happened hat it remained the focus for Wraith and Diablore.  While in some ways the album can sound primitive, it is never lacking for atmosphere a la SUMMONING.  One is soon arrested by the ebb and flow of the music.  No matter the tempo, there is always an over-arching melody that is so simple as to promote its lodging in one’s subconscious.

The band are certainly not reinventing Black Metal, but rather remaining true to the music that permeates within.  As the riffs frame the music’s context, simple rudimentary percussion unites with ominous, grave vocals to form the band’s custom sound. This isn’t the band for one to be introduced to Black Metal, but like other forms of art, one's taste must be refined to appreciate the inner-working at play in such Extreme Metal.  Once again, Australia is proven to be the home base for a fertile group of Black Metal musicians.  ICHOR have ultimately created an album that is challenging and overwhelming, yet simplistically beautiful in other parts.  Hopefully, they will decide to keep this project active.

Songwriting:  7
Originality:   8
Memorability:  8
Production:  5


3 Star Rating

1. Spectres of the Woods
2. Noble Ichor
3. Vucica
4. Call of the Bloodthirst
5. Yaga’s Tomb
6. Daughters of Wrath
Zy – Drums
Wraith– Guitars, Bass
Diablore – Vocals
Record Label: Seance Records


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Edited 08 August 2022

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