Reviewed By Simon Milburn
Published 16 September, 2012
Link: Official Website

This one comes up short

When the resurgence of thrash was taking place over the best part of the last decade, there was always some noise being made about Dew-Scented. They’ve been around for a while now – in fact, it’s hard to believe it’s been almost two decades – and whilst the band’s bull at a gate styled death thrash has always had an audience that has gravitated to it and sung the band’s praises, they never really managed to have a big impact on the scene.

It’s hard to believe that Icarus is the band’s ninth album and given that this is yet another thrash metal release for 2012 and one that is up against the likes of Kreator, Testament and Municipal Waste amongst others, it has a lot of work to do to really stand out. Clearly Dew-Scented are not a pure thrash metal band which is apparent from vocalist Leif Jensen’s raspy growl, but musically they are more aligned with that genre than anything else.

Having said that then, Icarus must be compared to not only the band’s previous works but also recent releases within the thrash genre, and there’s plenty of choose from there. There-in lays the problem. Nine albums on and it’s clear that not a lot has changed for Dew-Scented. Well, musically at least that is correct. Behind Jensen, the entire rest of the band is new this time around but the result is still very much the same. The subtle intro, Hubris and the blistering proper first track, Sworn to Obey, set the scene but soon enough the album falls easily into a very one dimensional musical rut that is reminiscent of anything the band have done before.

On the whole, there isn’t a hell of a lot here to get super excited about. The nicest change up is mid tempo and sinister sounding Reawakening which features guest vocals by Dan Swano, but the rest is a pedal to the metal flat out speed fest for the most part. It’s not that I have a problem with that, but coupled with Jensen’s trademark and often monotonous growl, quite frankly, there’s other albums I’d rather be listening to.

Maybe it’s the line-up changes, maybe this is just how it’ll be and it’ll never be anything more than what it is. I’m not sure I can confidently put my finger on it, but either way Icarus falls short of some of Dew-Scented’s better material such as Inwards and Issue VI and more so it doesn’t stand up to the absolute monster albums from some of thrash metal’s biggest names that have dropped so far this year. Perhaps it’ll hold up with fans but I suspect that the massive internal shift will be a big part of that final result, but I suspect it will come up a little short.

Prosthetic Records/Rocket Distribution

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