German thrash/death Metal five piece Dew Scented have been making musical mayhem since 1992 but it wasn't my privilege to cross paths with them until 2007 when they released 'Incinerate'. In 2010 they graced our ears with the excellent 'Invocation' but as a band never to rest on its laurels they are back with their latest and best to date, 'Icarus'.
'Icarus' is the ninth full length from the band, eleven tracks and forty five minutes of brutal, energetic excitement from end to end. The album brims with fast developing riffs, blasting speed, exciting tempo change and imaginative and intelligent lyrics. The vocal style is a powerful, throat ripping, growling scream which works so well. There is no element you could fault, the guitars and drums are excellent, fast and furious, varied and interesting.
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The songs are well constructed; the blasting elements are strategically positioned for maximum effect and excitement. Picking a favourite track is nigh on impossible, the level of excellence being so consistent throughout and all have that catchy edge to them.
You are gently eased in with 'Hubris', an emotive guitar led intro before the actual first track, the powerful 'Sworn To Obey', setting the standard for all the tracks that follow.
'Thrown To The Lions' has a catchy repeat riff on the chorus that sticks in your mind and 'Storm Within' is another track with a catchy repeat riff and the vocals take on an urgent determined edge.
'Gleaming Like Silver' is fast and chugging with an exciting repeat pattern at its core with the vocals taking on a higher strangled edge to their sound at times.
After a brief, slow and moody opening, the pace and intensity moves straight into top gear on 'By My Own Hand' and is fast paced and exciting with an anthem like chant midway.
'The Fall Of Man' opens on a powerful agonising scream, as if the fall is a literal fact. The tempo drops midway in a reflective manner but is laced with an ear splitting solo.
The pace slows a little more on the next track, 'Reawakening', to mid tempo and the vocals at times are deeper and more brutal. There is a very sinister, yet hauntingly catchy, repeat guitar riff forming the main body of the track.
On 'Destined To Collapse' the tempo picks back up again for this chugging, riff laced gem of a track while 'A Final Procession' has a powerful building opener, the chugging riffs interspersed by a sinister guitar pattern which gives a dark edge to this track.
Maintaining the brutal intensity right to the last track, with soaring and chugging guitars, 'Perpetuated' leaves you wanting to hear the whole album all over again.
This album is a superb hybrid, a heavy and brutal blend of all that is exiting about death and thrash metal, brilliantly crafted.
'Icarus' is out now on Metal Blade Records.