ICETHRONE - See You in Valhall (BLACK TEARS OF DEATH - CD 2012)
The Viking legacy does not influence the Scandinavian bands exclusively anymore, as it just infected a certain band from… Italy! Ha, I don’t really know what should I think about this, certainly I would prefer Italian band to deal with their own history, especially if they have such an interesting stuff like the Ancient Rome! But those five metalheads wanted to write something about the Vikings, so here it is: “See You in Valhall”, second CD from Icethrone. It is the first time, when I hear of this band, so I cannot really compare “See You in Valhall” to the previous material. But honestly I’m not even really curious about “Beggar’s Song” so much…
The info sheet from the label compares “See You in Valhall” to such bands as Hypocrisy and Dismember… hmm, I wouldn’t exaggerate so much as I just couldn’t hear much influence from them in the music of Icethrone. There may be some clear traces of other Swedish bands, like Amon Amarth and Unleashed here and there, especially in such tracks as “Pleasure of Hel”, “From the Sea” and “Red Giant Slayer”, some riffs are clearly inspired by these two bands, but there’s something more to Icethrone I think, as the band used also some other styles in their music, like folk and pagan metal for instance, with keyboards, etc, what makes their music more original and not as typical and straight forward as Unleashed’s. This is good of course and I think I can say that I even liked some parts of “See You in Valhall”.
But I’m far from hailing Icethrone and their second album as the most thrilling pieces of music, which I have heard this year. As the whole I’m afraid that this album is quite boring. It takes something more to impress me and there are just too many things on “See You in Valhall”, which I feel could have been done (composed) better. First of all, the material is just mediocre. Sorry to say, but even if such kind of music has been explored a lot, it still is possible to play it in good, passionate way. But I just couldn’t feel the spark here, there’s nothing on “See You in Valhall”, what would really excite me and make scream like possessed “Oh, what a killer riff!”. There are some decent moments, some parts, which I quite liked, but it is just not enough for me. I don’t like the production of this album so much, I’m not so keen on the vocals… When Icethrone plays fast parts I feel like they’re just dull and these more melodic ones are hmm too melodic (hehe) for me. I especially must say that I don’t like most of the keyboards’ stuff in here. Like that instrumental piece called “Dream” – it sounds so fuckin sweet and boring that I’m close puking my guts out. Another not so fine example would be “Fearless”. Or the acoustic passage in “Farewell”. Hmm, definitely Icethrone tried to sound epic and monumental, but I guess they should listen to Bathory or Falkenbach once more, if they really wanna know what epic and monumental should be like. Sorry, I just don’t like it.
So, what can I write in the end? There are definitely better Viking metal themed bands out there, which I wanna listen to. There are also better Italian bands, which I like and listen to. Icethrone is terribly mediocre and honestly I don’t really want to waste much time on “See You in Valhall” anymore. It’s one of those albums, which you listen to three or four times and then just forget about its existence, as there’s so much killer music around that it is stupid to waste your time on something like this. So I’m not gonna really recommend this album to anyone. Those of you, who wanna listen to it, will get it anyway, but if you’re looking for high quality Viking death metal then there are definitely better albums around.
Final rate: 60/100