Released: 2012, Metal Blade
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Like the latest model of car rolling off the production line, introducing for 2012 the completely revamped Dew-Scented line-up. Oh and single founding member, and it would appear lynchpin, vocalist Leif Jensen. I have to admit whenever a band cuts pretty much their full line-up, wheels in some replacements and then releases an album, well the worry lines show.
Not everything is different though – Dew-Scented are still holding onto their every album title starts with a ‘I’ gameplan. It does make me wonder how much thought goes into the album title actually complementing the musical content, or whether it’s just a matter of any convenient word starting with ‘I’? I guess we’ll see when they have to start scraping the barrel and releasing ‘Icecream Igloo’ or something.
But for now album number nine is ICARUS – and if I was to squeeze this review into a nutshell I’d say that unlike its namesake myth, there’s little chance of this Icarus going far enough off course to get near the sun. Essentially, the album is what you probably would expect of Dew-Scented, exposed-nerve thrash squeezing death metal in a choke-hold, but that is precisely where it comes unstuck. In listening to Icarus there’s little that immediately jumps out, so whilst the album is solid in execution, and well produced, there’s nothing that marks it as being unique in the scope of modern thrash.
At its best ICARUS is the snarling ‘Thrown To The Lions’ which threatens to rip through your face from the first deep roar, before balancing bark with bite in terms of neck-pulverising drum work, and ‘Gleaming Like Silver’, which as its name suggests is a shiny gem, polished off with a guest appearance from Rob Urbinati (Sacrifice). Another guest, Dan Swanö lends his lungs to ‘Reawakening’, and this is another sticker of a song which shows off the more push-up-the-daisies side of the band.
If ICARUS was a band’s second or third album I may be inclined to heap more praise on it, and then encourage them to find a bit more of their own identity next time. But 20 years down the line and the ninth studio album, I’d expect something a little more from Dew-Scented. Whilst each album is bristling with its own colourful plumage, underneath it’s the same glue being used to stick it, and it seems nothing is going to shift that. Still at least they won’t be plunging into the ground anytime soon, but in terms of gaining the height required to get to the top of the heap, Dew-Scented may need to risk flying a little closer to the sun.
Review by Kirsty Birkett-Stubbs