Icewind - Inner Storm
Self Financed
Melodic Speed / Power Metal
3 songs (17'07)
Release year: 2004
Reviewed by Ben

The world is greeted with yet another Power Metal band, this time in the form of Icewind from Canada. This time the take on our beloved (or hated depending on who you are) genre is one that reminds me of a less bombastic Sonata Arctica yet not quite as wonderful as that might sound. Looking at the cover I was already pleasantly surprised, there’s some great artwork and finally, a cool logo that took some time in thought instead of a boring bland one that seems to be the case with so many Power Metal bands recently. While all that might be fine and dandy, what’s the music like though? Is it worth me caring about or is it more of the same mindless Power Metal drivel that is ruining the genre?

Suffice to say the opener Spiritual Nemesis as a song, did absolutely nothing for me. It is lacking in dynamics and the structure is the same throughout the duration and there’s enough double bassing here to kill a horse. The keyboards seem out of place and in the way of the guitar instead of augmenting each other, the piano effect is clunky and overbearing, and the chorus is highly non infectious. Singer Gab Langelier shows us that he can reach the super high notes but he has the King Diamond syndrome, he goes from a normal voice to super falsetto without any warning or buildup, they just come out at you from nowhere. I myself am a fan of King Diamond but just like there are people out there that cannot stand him because of the vocals, I feel the same will happen here with Icewind. Winter Heaven however is leaps better than its predecessor, with it’s much more intricate musical map it has everything that Spiritual Nemesis was lacking. Guitars shine here, especially in the intro licks and the lengthy solo section and where the keyboards seemed like a bumbling and awkward teenager before, they have found their spot here. Structurally, there has been much more thought in where interludes, riffs, choirs, and solos should be as there are several changes in time and dynamics throughout. While still not a track that I would pit head to head with UnOpened or Under the Moon, Winter Heaven definitely can stand on its own. The final track on this demo Inner Storm is the longest and also the best. A very bright and intense intro riff segues into a storm (ha!) of metal screams and keyboards that have punch, that have balls. Where Winter Heaven compounded on Spiritual Nemesis, Inner Storm wipes both of those tracks off the map with ease. On this track Icewind has actually managed to create a damn fine Power Metal song. A mini epic of sorts, this is a roller coaster ride with dazzling highs, and a lilting low that has a beautiful acoustic solo. Speaking of solos, I can’t neglect to mention the brilliantly executed keys solo as well. Superb.

I am willing to bet money that the order in which the songs on Inner Storm are presented is also the order in which they were composed. The sense of growth and increase in arrangement proficiency gives that away. For being the very first demo that has been released Icewind definitely has time on their side, and that is exactly what I suggest they use to better themselves.

Killing Songs :
Winter Heaven and Inner Storm
Ben quoted no quote
Other albums by Icewind that we have reviewed:
Icewind - All Is Dust reviewed by Jason and quoted 75 / 100
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