Ichabod - 2012

Its been some four years since this album but the wait has been worth it as "Ichabod" has come up with a album that could be regarded as a classic in years to come. I will be honest and say I haven't listened to the band for a long time so this album came as a big surprise to me because the band has really shifted gears with this release recorded at "Mad Oak Studios" by "Devin Charlette". The band still the Stoner/Psyche grooves but they also have added a lot more Progressive Rock to their sound creating something that is far more complex than what I was expecting. The opener "Sleeping Giants" starts things rolling with a Psychedelic trip of a song complete with samples from war movies and a voice over part which sets up the concept of the album. I wouldn't describe the album as being a "concept album" but there is a common theme that seems to predict the end of the world. Its a bit apocalyptic in parts and most of it shines with un-relenting intensity especially in songs like the title track which seems to be the most worked on song on the CD but its interesting the track that follows it "2012 Outro" is longer than the "2012" track itself. "2012 Outro" is a long collage of drones, chanting and other atmospheric noises and while its a intriguing listening experience, its also the hardest track to sit through. "Giving Up The Ghost" is one of the strongest tracks here and one of the more straight-forward songs on the album, the riff is pure Sabbath but done in such a way that I doubt if many people will hear or care about the connection. One of the standout features of the album is "Greg Dellaria on the bass guitar adding so much needed thickness to the sound. His bass lines are always moving and combine that with "Dave Iverson" on guitar it makes a warm, rich sound that compliments the song structures perfectly. The vocals of "Ken Mackay" also have real texture and warmth and sometimes sounds a little like the great vocal sound of "Alice In Chains" Layne Staley. He also the some great range to his voice and that is highlighted in their version of Pink Floyd's "The Nile Song" which is simply breathtaking. The overall sound is one of intense heaviness but sometimes the production doesn't quite cut it like in "Gentlemen of the Choir" which features some flute playing but unfortunately it gets a little buried under the wall of sound. This is only a minor hiccup however as everything else is almost perfection except for the "2012 Outro" which may be a little long for some people. This is a album that will be a welcome surprise to a lot of people and will create a lot of new fans for the band,this is a stimulating piece of work that is heavy, somewhat complex in parts but also extremely listenable. One of the must have albums of the year.

1. Sleeping Giants
2.Giving Up The Ghost
3. Gentlemen Of The Choir
4. The Nile Song
5. New Years Prayer
6. 2012
7. 2012 Outro

Rootsucker Records
Reviewer: Ed
Oct 28, 2009

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