(Trad/Speed) ICE WAR - Defender, Destroyer album review
Release date: July 21, 2020 (Fighter Records)
This is the fourth album from Canadian one-man band Ice War since 2015. And Jo Capitalicide (the one man) has come up with a good one in this 10 song, 38 minute effort. Capitalicide must be one busy boy, with his irons simultaneously in Ice War, Aphrodite, Cannibal, Dexezon and Expunged.
Playing guitar, bass, drums and singing, Capitalicide demonstrates proficiency in all aspects of this album. While the production may not be perfect or pristine, it does not detract from the over-all experience of intensity. This is speed metal and thrash with a tinge of punk thrown in for good measure.
But for this reviewer the stand out features are the vocals and the song writing. At the mic, Capitalicide sounds like a cross between Stace "Sheepdog" McLaren from Razor and Algy Ward from Tank. But the harshness found in this voice sounds natural enough as it continues during the course of every song, and he actually sings, rather than just growling and shrieking (although he does that too).
The song writing is a main strength, as individual songs are catchy and memorable. There are nods and influences to great bands, but they never overwhelm the songs so that they become derivative. "Defender, Destroyer" starts out sounding like early Venom, but then breaks into full Razor mode. "Crucified in Fire" is reminiscent of Slayer's first album, while "Skull & Crossbones" hints at high seas era Running Wild.
Other highlights include "Rising from the Tomb", "Mountains of Skulls" and the speed of punkified "Soldier of Frost". But really, this album is solid from start to finish.