Arcticcircle - Where Ice Meets Ocean

Manitoba, Canada’s Arcticcircle unleash their 3rd full-length entitled “Where Ice Meets Ocean”, and what I experienced was definitely not expected. To be honest, in the beginning, it was a struggle for me to listen to the whole thing. Let that soak in along with the fact that the entire album is around the 25 minute mark. I chalked it up to the immense contrast between the visual aspects and the music as that contrast is a big one. When you see the cover, you have the band logo at the top, album title at the bottom, and a circular picture in the middle with icebergs and a sunset. Now, when you hear the music, it is some of the most in your face hardcore/thrash/crossover sounding music in recent memory. I must admit, all of this threw me off on the first listen. In the riffage you hear the traditional elements with an integrated progressive vibe on top of a really nice “crunch” to the tone. It’s not over the top, but rather enough to take you to the edge, then back off a little. Can’t put my finger on it, but it reminds me of a mixture of Biohazard and Crowbar with a touch of Mastodon.

Now, I really enjoyed the drums on this release. The unrelenting rhythm and passion of this particular genre really shines through in this aspect of the music. It’s not all that glamorous, nor does it need to be. It’s all about being in the moment and that’s precisely what you have here. This is probably my favorite part of the CD. It’s fun yet serious at the same time. The vocals are just ok, but fall a little short for me. I am just not a person that likes “shouted” vocals. It’s like a thorn to a rose so to speak. It seems to ruin the continuity of the music as a whole. It’s still listenable, but every time I’ve listened to this CD, there has been that lingering feeling that something could be different. From my perspective, the vocals are a poor attempt at trying to match the same style and pattern that Entombed used on their “Uprising” release.

Overall, I would say that this is a good effort, but not much more than that. I’ve said this about bands before, but this is one of those releases that would have been better as an instrumental one. In any event,, I give these guys my respect for what they offer us here. I cannot let 1 aspect of this release ruin the whole thing. You can tell that they worked hard on the music, and that should earn our respect if nothing else. Even though this is not my most favorite type of metal, it was good to hear something different and I add reverence to my respect for these guys for doing what they do and putting out music that comes from their hearts.

  1. Cosmic Egg
  2. Big Heavy Door
  3. Madness Powder
  4. Change The Wave
  5. Oracle Bones
  6. Onanole
  7. Firebird Over Falcon Lake
  8. Into One


Self released
Reviewer: twansibon
Sep 27, 2018
Next review: Sathanas - Necrohymns

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