Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Icon In Me - Head Break Solution

Icon In Me
Head Break Solution
Goomba Music

When I first came across Russian/Danish/Swedish – Moscow (Russia) based outfit Icon In Me back in 2009, I can’t say that I was all that impressed.
Despite boasting a line-up of fairly well known musicians, their debut effort ‘Human Museum’ (Released through Massacre Records) just failed to jump out at me with any real excitement in the song writing department.
It’s been two long years since then, and the four piece act (Comprising of ex-Transport League/Angel Blake/Mnemic/B-Thong vocalist Tony JJ Jelencovich, ex-Hostile Breed guitarist Dmitry Frans, ex-Reign The Absolute/Bezumnie Usiliya guitarist Artyom Sherbakov, ex-Hostile Breed bassist Konstantin and Amaranthe/The Arcane Order/The Cleansing/Mercenary drummer Morten Løwe Sørensen) are back with their sophomore effort ‘Head Break Solution’.
Self described as a modern metal act with some thrash, death and hardcore influences; you can say that on paper, Icon In Me is somewhat of a hard act to pin down style wise. And sure enough, ‘Head Break Solution’ is a fairly varied, and somewhat mixed effort.
After a brief guitar/drum sound effects scene setting introductory piece (‘Suicide World’), Icon In Me get straight down to business with ‘Wasted Ways’. Fast paced and thrash based, ‘Wasted Ways’ is a solid enough track, with plenty of crushing riffs and some great solo work, but is ultimately a little let down with some of the cleaner vocal lines from Jelencovich, which sound a little too out of place against his more aggressive efforts.
The fast paced follow up track ‘Face It’ is certainly a worthy effort that sees the cleaner vocals work well with the growls, and brings to mind a bit of The Haunted’s latter day efforts, while the first single (And first promotional video clip) ‘The Quest’ fuses together middle eastern samples within modern metal framework (I’m thinking Soilwork both musically and vocally) with great results.
‘Un-Slaved’ (The second promotional video clip to be filmed from the album) is another stand out cut with its mix of the melodic and the aggressive, and the guest guitar solo contribution from The Haunted’s Anders Björler, while the shredding ‘Lost For Nothing’, the thrashing ‘Nuclear Drama’ and the blackened melodic death feel of ‘Through The Sites’ are further high moments on the album.
Unfortunately, not everything on the album is as memorable as the tracks mentioned above. Towards the latter half of the album, ‘Flood Kills’, the slower paced/keyboard heavy ‘Tired And Broken’ (Which originally appeared as a b-side to the single ‘The Quest’), ‘Aspects Of The Unknown’ and ‘Solid Child’ seem to exist purely to fill the album out, and therefore struggle to stand out as anything all that remarkable.
Overall, Icon In Me is an interesting act, with ‘Head Break Solution’ coming across as a truly diverse album. But in terms of song writing, the band does have some work to do to really make their albums sound consistent from start to finish. ‘Head Break Solution’ definitely has its fair share of killer cuts, but just too many filler efforts to really make it a killer release as a whole.

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© Justin Donnelly