Iceburn – Asclepius – album review

Iceburn – Asclepius

Southern Lord


Out Now

Asclepius is the first album in twenty years from ‘ ever-evolving and adventurous collective Iceburn’ they say it ‘fuses elements of metal, jazz, psychedelia, and rock with a seamless flow, monolithic riffs, swirling harmonies, and a groove’ Fighting Boredom have been listening, read what we think below.

This record has two tracks, both just short of twenty minutes. This is the first new music from Iceburn in twenty years. It deserves to be played very, very loudly, and listened to without distraction.

‘Healing the Ouroburos’ begins with tribal drums creating a heartbeat gearing up and away as the slight sound of guitars builds to a stoned immaculate guitar and drum breakout. There’s a slow, clear gravelly deep vocal and it sounds huge. Like a gigantic empty warehouse, doors broken and lost with a forgotten landscape outside. Or standing on the edge of a cliff staring at the violent sea breaking on the shore as rain pours down drenching you. It’s hugely emotional and my soul is loving it. The beat continues but the guitar gets higher and freer, drums stop and all of a sudden it’s become a call and response jazz break out. That leads back to the incessant beat and groove, falling into a doomesque huge groove fest. Try standing still to this, it’s not just stoner, more of a psychedelic mushroom fest in your head. The groove moves on and on until it just stops and silence, broken by guitar cuts alone in silence, impending disaster, is it going to explode or fade out? The sound stretches out into feedback and string bending, massively loud and a synth wind blows. It’s what happens when the warehouse caves in, the edge of the cliff crumbles and all you have is a moment of clarity in your head. As the music fades to silence.

Dahlia Rides the Firebird is based on an old traditional Greek tune. It begins with slow guitars then spits out a riff over and over which grows into a primal rock monster. It’s slow, deliberate and very very catchy with skittering drums and deep down low guitar as the vocals sing over it. Moving into blocks of sound again. It’s not so much the old quite loud quiet, more like.. skullcrushingly heavy, slightly eased back, skullcrushingly heavy. Its got the looseness and swing that this music needs and I crave.  More of an old school rock feel to this one, grooves along at it’s own pace and you can see them playing it alone in a ruined theatre with velvet curtains hanging ragged and cobwebs being shaken apart by the sound above them, the auditorium empty and dark. The sound slows and morphs into something calmer and lighter, drums and bass led with the guitar embellishing and making it fly, the sound of freedom, flying high, running as fast as you can, escaping and light. But it cuts back to slower weighted guitar pulses which repeat  over and over with a majestic vocal struggling to get above them. 

It’s a musical moment that needs to be loud and uninterrupted as it marks it’s territory in your brain and soul. It’s Iceburn, we’re glad they’re back.

Iceburn are on Facebook and have a Bandcamp page.

All words by Adrian Bloxham.

Adrian Bloxham

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *