Formed in 2020 by former members of Obscura and later adding vocalist Javi Perera the band has managed to create a stunning piece of work for a debut album. The technical side of the band is unreal which combined with their prog tendencies make it an enthralling listen, admittedly it will take you a few listens to grasp the full scale of the album as there is so much going on. Setting the tone from the start is “Under Black Skies” with fast riffs and growling vocals to the backdrop of some seriously atmospheric meanderings, Perera switches effortlessly between growled and clean as Klausenitzer and Lanser bring the heavy with the bass and drums and as the track nears an end Trujillo lets rip with a cool technical solo that is out of this world.
“Sense Of Lust” comes chugging into life with a massive bass and guitar riff giving a really heavy feel to the song alongside Perera’s snarled and growled vocals giving you an absolute gem. Title track “Iconic” brings the speed, once again Perera puts on a masterclass with his vocals as Trujillo kills it with another epic solo, the most impressive thing about this track is their ability to merge both the technical and death aspects of their sound with absolute ease. “Bound By Fire” encapsulates everything these guys have set out to achieve, a heavy prog feels throughout the track that is infused with some serious death vibes; bass heavy with some funky atmospheric keyboards, and great technical guitar work from Trujillo, that is capped off with an amazing solo, alongside Perera’s ability to switch vocals up make this one of my favorite tracks on the album. “Iron & Dust” has the feel of some of Malmsteen’s stuff with intricate fretwork, falsetto vocals, and a thumping drum and bass beat, the track gets heavier towards the end but closes on a high with Perera’s soaring vocals. “I Am” builds up slowly with a thundering drum beat as Perera brings his growling death stylings to the next level, the brutally buzzing bass of Klausenitzer and killer riffs from Trujillo are immense and really lay the foundations for a mammoth song. A rousing choral intro to “Delusion” makes way for a brutal sonic onslaught of crashing drums, booming bass, and erratic riffs that chop and change over the course of the track as Perera goes from all-out death to soulful clean vocals, Klausenitzer treats us to a truly magnificent bass break down with Trujillo unleashing another cracking solo, brilliant.
The warp speed drumming of Lanser and thumping bass on “Devotion” drive the song big time, a groovy riff and Perera giving it socks an extra bit of spice to the track, more of a metalcore track than anything else but killer nonetheless. “Nowhere” has a traditional thrash metal feel with a hint of power metal; fast and intense with a rousing chorus, the guttural growling from Perera is next level and at times it is hard to believe that he is also singing the clean vocals the switch is so smooth, Lanser lays down a monstrous beat that pushes the tempo while Trujillo’s riffs and solo are immense, this is probably my favorite track on the album for no other reason than it kicks ass. The album closes with “Lake Of Afterlife” a blistering, short but deadly track that packs a massive punch, crushing drums, killer guitars, and bass with Perera doing what he does best, a fitting end to a great debut album.
Rafael Trujillo Guitars
1. Under Black Skies (6:00)
2. Sense Of Lust (4:18)
3. Iconic (6:40)
4. Bound By Fire (5:12)
5. Iron & Dust (6:01)
6. I Am (6:56)
7. Delusion (4:55)
8. Devotion (4:59)
9. Nowhere (4:18)
10. Lake Of Afterlife (3:57)
Style: Technical Prog Metal
Drums recorded at Lanser Studios in Salzburg (AU)
Guitars, vocals, synths and soundeffects at Woodshed Studios in Fürth (DE)
Vocal overdubs and soundscaping at TheRedHouse Studio in Cambridge (UK)
Producer/mis/master: V. Santura (TRIPTYKON, OBSCURA)