ICE WAR - Sacred Land

Ice War - Sacred Land

7 songs
34:30 minutes
***** ***


Jo Capitalicide is one of those musicians that are active in so many bands that it makes you wonder how many hours he can fit into one day. This year alone, and we havenít finished spring yet, heís been involved as a band member in the recording of half a dozen albums. Just recently he released the second record by Aphrodite, a female fronted speed punk metal band that is really something quite extraordinary. Ice War is one of his many solo projects with which he has released yearly albums since 2017. 2021 is no exception, but Jo Capitalicide has decided to give up the speed metal genre for this band and try his hand instead at epic doom metal.

Just like the last Aphrodite album, we get a very raw product, which makes sense. The artist is active on so many fronts that the polishing part is not a priority. And that is also what makes Sacred Land such a charming addition to his canon. There is a strong vibe of second-generation doom metal, complete with the direct and unpretentious sound one got from bands like Saint Vitus and Pentagram. The vocals are somewhat nasal, giving them a certain Ozzy flair, although Capitalicide is of course rooted deeper in the underground.

The first three songs on the album are actual highlights. The opener and title track is at a little over three minutes are rather catchy track, played at a mid-tempo pace, with a dramatic chorus. Crystal Mirror reminds me of early Candlemass, and Nuclear Gods is a fun plodding with a tremolo heavy guitar. The remaining four songs canít quite keep up with the same amount of catchiness, but are still entertaining enough for the fan of underground doom metal.

Most bands probably spend a lot of time with the finishing touches of their albums, but I am convinced that Jo Capitalicide rather chooses a more direct approach, and while the overall impression might be one of a certain roughness around the edges, itís spontaneous attitude makes up for any such flaws. Let us not forget that Jo Capitalicide is punk deep within his soul, and he manages to bring that spirit even to the doom metal genre.

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