Sunday, September 23, 2012

Corvus Stone - Ice King

Corvus Stone
Ice King
Melodic Revolution Records

Corvus Stone are relative newcomers to the European progressive rock scene, with the formation of the Finnish/Swedish collaboration having only been together for less than a year. While the band themselves are a bit of an unknown entity, the members involved in this new project are anything but unknowns, with all of those involved having been involved in a variety of projects throughout the years. Although having released various bits and pieces of music over the last couple of months, ‘Ice King’ marks the first official release from Corvus Stone, and a true indication of what can be expected from the band’s upcoming self titled release (Which by all accounts, is due before the end of the year).
Prior to giving ‘Ice King’ a listen, I took the time to reacquaint myself with Corvus Stone’s earlier known recordings. And while the band had managed to throw together some interesting ideas in the studio, there was nothing that had emerged from the band that made me really sit up and take notice. So to be perfectly honest, I really wasn’t expecting too much from Corvus Stone’s latest effort. But I’m pleased to report that while my initial expectations for ‘Ice King’ were quite low, Corvus Stone had much a grander plan, and exceeded everything I thought possible from the band.
In the past, Corvus Stone (Who comprise of Colin Tench Project/BunChakeze/The Road To Avalon guitarist Colin Tench, ex-Lyijykomppania/Progeland/Saturn Twilight bassist Petri Lemmy Lindström and Psychedelic Eye keyboardist Pasi Koivu) have produced some great ideas and sounds, but nothing that came close to sounding like a complete song worthy of inclusion on an album. But with the assistance of The Road To Avalon/Minstrel's Ghost vocalist Blake Carpenter, and former Raven/Micah drummer George Robert Wolff, Corvus Stone have really found their sound.
‘Ice King’ is somewhat of a strange track to pin down in the sound sense. There’s an unmistakable feel of classic ‘70’s progressive rock within the song, but there’s also a touch of world music within the subtle acoustic guitar work and percussion that drifts in and out throughout the song. The build up of heavy guitar work provides a memorable high point around the latter half of the track; while Tench’s ever present echoed guitar sounds are executed with absolute finesse.
But while the individual performances are noteworthy, it’s the song as a whole that really wins me over. Despite the cold lyric themes, the haunting vocals of Carpenter and the minimal musical composition, it all comes together perfectly for the band.
It’s hard to make a true evaluation of what Corvus Stone will deliver over a full length effort based on one song, and even harder given their rather patchy mix of demos and instrumentals. But if ‘Ice King’ is any indication of what the band has in store, then it really does have the potential to be something special. Here’s hoping ‘Ice King’ isn’t a mere one-off.

For more information on Corvus Stone, check out - http://www.facebook.com/corvusstone

© Justin Donnelly