Canadian one man band Ice War deal in one thing – heavy metal. The band – one dedicated metalhead who goes by the name of Jo Capitalicide – have released a series of singles over the years, the title tracks of which are all reprised here, but this is their first full-length outing.
Pitched somewhere between Into Glory Ride-era Manowar and early Manilla Road, this is classic metal with absolutely nothing added or taken away. The only problem is that the band’s budget doesn’t stretch to accommodate the grandeur of Capitalicide’s vision, although that isn’t necessarily detrimental to the actual tunes being offered.
Reverence of Gold suffers most because Capitalicide just can’t sing in the key he’s written the song in, and a big-buck production job would have rectified that; but this complaint aside, there’s really not much to dislike about this album. Best track by far is the excellent I Am the Prisoner, a rollicking, grandiose slab of true metal that could easily have slipped out of the Manowar compound unnoticed in the mid eighties. We Will Stand weaves an almost folky feel into matters, though there are no instruments other than guitar bass and drums making the noise; you could almost imagine pre-debut era Iron Maiden pumping this out at shows in dingy East End pubs, so authentic is the sound.
Closing track Falling Out has more of a speed metal vibe to it, almost like Brocas Helm around the time of their Into Battle opus, and its a bit of a stormer – and a fine way to close the album.
Only those who still keep a battle jacket in good order need really apply here, as the sound really is just too unvarnished for casual listeners. But the die hard metalheads in the Sentinel Daily audience will lap up every second of Ice War’s half-hour duration. Which, I’m sure, will be just what Jo Capitalicide wants.
Ice War will be released by Shadow Kingdom Records on September 29th