Label: Prosthetic Records/Metal Blade
Release date: July 31, 2012
German death-thrash ensemble, Dew-Scented has returned with its ninth studio effort, Icarus. Founder and sole survivor of the band’s career, vocalist Leif Jensen once again brings his knack for writing muscular riffs and thick hostile vocals to bear on the new album. He also brings another line-up change.
Who is in the band this time around is largely irrelevant as they are not likely to return for album 10: That is the way of Dew Scented. However, for those who catalog such information Jensen is joined by guitarist Marvin Vriesde (Severe Torture, ex-Manifest, ex-Shockwave, ex-Blo.Torch), drummer Koen Herfst (I Chaos, Xenobia), and bassist Joost Van Der Graaf (I Chaos, ex-Creepmine, ex-Sinister).
Icarus offers listeners everything they’ve come to expect from Dew-Scented: aggressive; energetic; brutal; corrode the enamel off your teeth, death-tinged thrash. Jensen sticks with the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” school of thought. The trouble is, unless what you’re doing is so original and full of impact that fans keep clamoring for more, than all you’re giving fans is decent tunes without much variation.
Don’t get me wrong, Dew-Scented has come up with some powerful tracks over the years, but nothing that really sticks with you unless you happen to be a true die-hard fan of the band. One can slap Icarus on and enjoy the album for 44 minutes, but when it’s over it passes straight out of your cranium. With the resurgence of thrash there’s simply too much out there to settle for average. This is exactly the type of album that’s good enough to listen to, or sadly, illegally download, but not exceptional enough to spend money on or listen to repeatedly.
Now that I’ve taken the wind out of the album’s sails, there are still some positives here. Jensen has been a taskmaster at crafting some pretty solid and well-produced albums over the last two decades. The bass on this record has great tone and rumbles forward like a steady thrumming engine. The guitars are crisp, melodic, and extremely well done–and the solos are often quite dynamic.
“Gleaming Like Silver” is a pummeling beast and “Thrown to the Lions” is a propulsive marrow-rattling onslaught. Other tracks like “Sworn To Obey” and “Destined to Collapse” stand out from the fray as well.
Icarus is not Dew-Scented‘s best, but it’s certainly a quality offering that deserves at least one solid listen to decide if it hits you with more potency than it did me. If you’re new to Dew-Scented imagine a collision of Slayer and Kreator with a bit more death built in.