Band Site: www.icearc.net
This band took me back to the early 80s, and in a good way. If someone heard IceArc circa 1980 they could easily mistake them for one of the bands from the NWOBHM movement. For those too young to remember - that is the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, with bands such as Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Angelwitch, Diamond Head, Tank and so on. In modern terms the band's sound would be described as traditional or power metal. They seem to sound to me like an earlier era Judas Priest/Iron Maiden, including the production as well. That's not necessarily a bad thing as they seem to have qualities that made these bands great, such as melodic double tracked guitars, melodic vocals and their overall drive and dynamics. My main problem with this kind of music is that I use Judas Priest's "Sad Wings of Destiny" or Iron Maiden's "Killers" as a measuring stick and in many cases the new bands fall short of these classic LPs (yeah, I am that old). It is up to you to decide if there is enough interesting material here to warrant a purchase. With that in mind, Ice Arc, have tastefully put together 12 tracks that are interesting and pleasant to listen to, so if you want to hear something new and well crafted in that genre - these are your guys.
The album starts up with Ride of the Valkyries by Wagner and ties into the first song, "On the Wings of the Gods", which seems to prod at a somewhat awkward tempo that seems a tad too slow. That is overall my complaint about this album - a little speed, maybe another 10 beats per minute would've brought more excitement to the arrangements. The band crafts many catchy titles, such as the midtempo rocker "She Waits", the ballad "Fallen Angel", the powerhouse "Nordic Crossing". My favorite song has to be "Where Are You Now" - a brooding doom opening paired with an uptempo attack. The closing "Sea of Lies" could comfortably fit as a B side on any earlier Maiden album.
To sum it up, IceArc have created an interesting if somewhat nostalgic release in the traditional/power metal genre. If you want to hear the lost art of metal song arrangement, double tracked solos, harmonies and powerful male vocals from a new band - they are your ticket.
Reviewed by A. Dorian