Friday, November 2, 2018

Joe D. Carpenter - Icke Troende

Hot on the heels of his first EP, Joe unleashes the follow-up, 'Icke Troende' on us. Whereas the debut was more melodic yet heavy as hell, part two is leaning more towards the 80's thrash scene. Not completely, but about 95% of it, I’d say. Normally when an artist "goes solo" the music on offer is usually all over the board with no cohesion whatsoever. The way Joe does it is perfect. Take your different ideas and influences and spread them out on two to three releases focusing on one style on each. This way there is no confusion with too many directions leading you astray. It worked wonders on 'Under The Blood' and it's working ever so great on 'Icke Troende'.

Again, Joe does it all himself with great aplomb. Hitting the ground running with the instrumental prologue, 'Axes & Knives' before launching head first into ‘Kasta’. In your face and full throttle I’m thrown into a ferocious moshpit and I couldn’t be happier as Joe is not letting off the speed. ‘Krafla’ is one hell of a neck-breaker as super sharp riff after super sharper rips me to shreds. Meanwhile, the rhythm section is relentless pulverizing everything in its approach. Add some really deft soloing on top of it and…man, pure annihilation.

‘god=LIES’ is the odd one out by not only being slower than rest but also because of the middle Eastern feel. Kind of like Nile but more elaborate, less death metal and more ethereal. And I love it! Gives you time to catch your breath before the second onslaught even though that won’t help you much. The instrumental beast ‘Wendol’ kicks off ferociously with killer twin leads before pretty darned good solo follows pretty darned good solo. Man, this is good, really good despite the short playtime. Didn’t realize how much I miss guitar solos, which is something I grew up on. Guess I didn’t tell the truth earlier saying ‘god=LIES’ is slower than the rest. The title track, ‘Icke Troende’ which closes out this EP is slow but more punishing and brutal, like a sinister force lurking close by ready to pounce on you.

Joe Carpenter is really on to something doing this three-part EP series as #2 is the perfect extension of #1 which beautifully showcases his versatility in so many different genres. All while keeping everything coherent and on point instead of wandering off in a thousand directions. The debut really piqued my interest and this sophomore offering only consolidates that feeling. ‘Icke Troende’ is a beast of an EP and I can’t wait for the third, and final, installment to melt my brain.


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