Thursday, January 19, 2012

Ice Dragon - The Burl, the Earth, the Aether

Ice Dragon’s debut The Burl, The Earth, The Aether has been compared by many to Black Sabbath’s self titled and Electric Wizard’s Dopethrone, and it’s really not hard to see why. Taking many cues from the titans that preceded them, Ice Dragon weaves a solid, dynamic album that is dismally bleak and oppressively heavy, all the while retaining a spaced out atmosphere. The album as a whole flows and progresses really well; the pace is staggered with crescendos and dotted with dynamic changes in both riffs and tone which moves the album along and a lumbering jaunt, and creates additionally heavy vibes with that contrast.

So many of the elements at play here come together to forge and exceptionally gloomy record. The synth sounds on this album are absolutely incredible and stand out without being cheesy or redundant. Rather than riffing along, it is used to provide ambiance and atmosphere, and adds much needed additional depth and texture. Likewise, the low-fi production gives additionally haunting vibes and lends itself greatly to the fuzzed out tone of the guitar.

All of the elements that I love on this album present themselves in full force on the track “Hexagon Riders”, which is featured below. The song immediately accelerates into an insanely catchy and heavy riff, keeping pace throughout the song and building all the way to the end. This song is groovy as hell, and will undoubtedly mesmerize you into headbanging along. Other killer songs include “Spellpouch”, a meandering beast who’s song structure mimics its lyrical content by periodically roaring to life, and “Aquageddon”, a titanic track that sounds as if the entire world were drowning.

In short, if you like Black Sabbath and Electric Wizard you will most certainly like what Ice Dragon has to offer. Good riffs, killer Ozzy-esque vocals, ample fuzz and cool atmosphere will likely keep you coming back for more.

-- Ahab

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