Saturday, 20 December 2014

Ichor - Depths (Album Review)


Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 5/9/2014
Label: Bastardized Recordings

‘Depths’ CD/DD track listing:

1. Deep Rising (00:48)
2. Apophis (03:19)
3. Ra´iroa (03:41)
4. While Giants Sleep (05:10)
5. The Beasts Approach (03:50)
6. The Heretic King (04:22)
7. Leviathan (03:27)
8. Deny Your God (03:35)
9. Desire Of The Depth (04:09)
10. Cthulus Sons (03:15)
11. Hadal Sirens (06:27)

Bio:

ICHOR. Definition: 1: an ethereal fluid taking the place of blood in the veins of the ancient Greek gods ICHOR started their crusade in 2008. After they have released a demotape on their own the band released their first full-length album "The Siege" in 2009. This album was recorded and mixed by Phil Hillen from the SU2-Studio, and mastered by Simon of War From A Harlots Mouth. After this release the band went on the road and toured with bands like Aborted, Benighted and The Black Dahlia Murder. In 2010 ICHOR released their second album “Benthic Horizon" which was recorded in the mighty Hertz Studio ( Behemoth, Decapitated, Vader, Hate ) in Poland. “Benthic Horizon" appeared in Europe via Bastardized Recordings and was re-released in the UK by Siege of Amida in 2011. After another year of tireless touring through Europe ICHOR went to the Hertz studio again to record their third full-length album “Depths" that will now appear on Bastardized Recordings. "Depths" is a journey into the deep sea, an escape into destruction and the downfall of mankind, which has to re-create and to struggle with obsession, with power, war, suffering and the passion for survival

Ichor is:

Damiel | Guitars
Jo | Guitars
Norb | Bass Guitar
Eric | Vocals
Dirk | Drums

Review:

Death metal bands are extremely prevalent in the…. “scenes”, for lack of better terminology. Sorry, my hackles rise at the mention of this asininity. Anyway, DM (as I will refer to it now) is really very common, which also means there is tons of mediocre to trash bands out there, standing between you and the pretty sweet bands. This, unfortunately, is usually what people think of when you say Metal as well, unless they think Metallica. And they will think Cannibal Corpse, or if they really don’t care, just bands yelling in guttural tongue at you as they play indecipherable noise at 3x full volume. In the case of Ichor, the band of today’s review, they couldn’t be more wrong. (The idiots; not CC, they are never wrong)

The album is entitled ‘Depths’, and is exactly what you brilliant readers think: Cthulhu! And no, now that I’ve typed that name, the worm has already entered your brain and you can’t turn away.  Lett the things just outside your vision step fully into our dimension and engulf you with their unnamable Madness. So sit back and relax. It’s not so bad when you let the Colors from Beyond in. Trust us. I mean ME!

So the album starts with the short intro of ‘Deep Rising’, which is pretty good and a finely done opener. After its short: 48 seconds, we are thrown into a whirling maelstrom on top of a reef, as ‘Apophis’ starts up. The band does well not to exceed their talent level, and keep it fairly tame. They are solid, with a great sound from their production crew, and it shows some damn fine technical ability. They are cohesive; staying in fair time and speed with each other, and no one thing overrides the others. They want it to be as one, and they keep to it. The singer keeps a scathing vocal attack on the listener, and he does it for a majority of the run times. He has to have Wolverine’s regenerative powers, as it’s pretty brutal. He gives us many chances to growl along, as he has many spots where he extends the words into a guttural cry. The guitars are excellent, as they play bedrock solid rhythm, with leads thrown in here and there to add lots of color. These aren’t the fastest leads or rhythms, so don’t expect something stunningly technical, but they are excellent and keep you interested. All of this is backed up by a very good drummer, who doesn’t seem to overly use the double kicks like lots of modern bands.

Very much a fan at this point and we can move on. The album package is pretty nice, with what I would take to be R’lyeh (where in his house dead Cthulhu waits dreaming….), crooked and malformed.  Dread tentacles rise and look none too happy about it. It’s well rendered and executed, and tops it like a blood red cherry.

The album has a break in period to my ears, and I’ll explain that. The first half is no less fun than the second, but it’s similar to playing a tube amp. When you just turn it on and play, it’s pretty awesome, but it just seems to get better after it’s had a good chance to warm up. ‘Depths’ plays the same way, as soon as ‘Leviathan’ pops off, the album gets better. There is absolutely no basis for this opinion, but the sound just seems to click some minuscule piece into place, and it’s awesome. For what it’s worth, ‘Leviathan’ and ‘Desire of the Depths’ are my picks on the album, but it’s easily one I can listen to start to finish. Ichor knows what they like, and they don’t play to keep up with a fad. Its solid death metal and it’s very good.

Words by: Hunter Young


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