ICON IN ME - review added 16th April 2009
Album Review: Human Museum (2009)
For fans of: thrash/death metal... and heaviness even Superman couldn't pick up.
Icon In Me is a hybrid of Russian and European musicians, built around the embers of Moscow band Hostile Breed. The band is Tony JJ (vocals), D.Frans (guitars), Artyom (guitars), Konstantin (bass) and former Hatesphere/Soilwork drummer Morten.
The sound is a mixture of At The Gates' beautiful-but-deadly violence, Killswitch Engage's broken beat metalcore, Machinehead's passion and Metallica's early speed. The record is absolutely pounding and very well judged both from a performance and production point of view. There is a wheelbarrow full of ferocity and a monumental energy behind the performances, and all of it is captured with the clarity of vodka.
The writing and composition is, however, the part that lets the record down. The songs play at a consistent pace and don't bring a lot of new ideas to the thrash/death table. There is little in the way of mythologically proportioned choruses either. The album is absolutely jam-packed with flashes of genius and moments of aural heaven, but the moments are fleeting and the sound quickly resorts to (great sounding) normality.
As far as stand out tunes are concerned, first track 'Dislocated' is a slab of sonic beef that would make a psychotic butcher happy. 'Moments' is okay too. The speedy marching-band style drumming carries the track along with a maddening tempo, and the chorus manages to stand out enough to be noticeable.
The start of 'Blood Ritual' sounds very similar to Metallica's St. Anger. Of all the albums in the known universe, why would you borrow the sound and style from such a cack release? Very odd decision, although Icon In Me's take is considerably less annoying - probably because the drums sound like drums, not ostriches dancing on a toy-drum storage facility.
Human Museum is a great sounding, if uninspiring collection of ultra heavy metal tracks. It's one of those numerous releases that gets lost in the crowd of 'nothing great/nothing terrible'. With more in the way of anthemic/catchy tracks, Icon In Me could go places. As it is, we'll have to wait for their next release to see if they can find some.
Check out... The St. Anger-esque antics of 'Blood Ritual'.