Icon In Me - Head Break Solution

Icon In Me walk a fine line between Thrash and Groove Metal; sometimes it can be hard to tell the difference when it comes to their sophomore effort 'Head Break Solution.' Half aggressive and also melodic, the band tries to break away from the conventional boundaries of Thrash Metal and expand on the skeletons that made up their debut album. The result is a balanced album, but still a bit repetitive. There is of course the motivating introduction that is just the guitars, drums, and bass with spoken word recordings in the background to kick things off, but who hasn't heard that before? "Wasted Ways" is a bit of a letdown to start the album; fortunately it gets better later. For one, the clean vocals sound a bit out of tune together as a cross between singing and shouting, making the bellowing 'voice' much more preferable. The clean vocals make a much better impression when considering a track like "Unslaved," which ventures more into Melodic Death Metal territory along the lines of Arkaea with the addition of keyboards throughout the song for background support as well as closing the track with a bit of classical infuence. It's expansions like these that make Icon In Me a more dynamic effort, but at the same time it can be a bit of a stretch for fans to enjoy, as most would prefer the chugging, bellowing tracks instead since that is what they are used to.

"Nuclear Drama" is an excellent example of just how thrashing Icon In Me can get. Featuring groove laden chugs that can be repetitive, but easy to follow, with a mix of shouting verses and clean vocal choruses, is what the band does at its best. The guitar solos break up the monotony of the riffs and add in a bit more technical skill to keep everything from being a snorefest.  "Through The Sights" is more basic, generic Thrash with a reptition of the lyrics over and over near the end and the switch between the bursts of drums with catchy guitar. "Solid Child" is a bit laughable as the vocals touch a bit on Sludge Metal with the droning, souless monotone of the vocals, but it also features one of the better solos on the album. Overall, it is hard to figure out where Icon In Me stands. This sophomore effort is breaking out of their shell as far as Thrash goes and touching more upon Groove and Alternative Metal, but sometimes it doesn't always sound like the band is top notch at it. Like when on Six Feet Under's 'Warpath' Chris Barnes tried an effort at singing as opposed to growling, and it just didn't suit him. The clean vocals add variation, but as long as they aren't sung in conjunction or feel like Stoner Metal vocals, they're fine. Thrash seems to be the best output for these guys and hopefully they will keep it that way.

  1. Suicide World (intro)
  2. Wasted Ways
  3. Face It
  4. The Quest
  5. Un-Slaved
  6. Lost For Nothing
  7. Flood Kills
  8. Nuclear Drama
  9. Tired And Broken
  10. Through The Sights
  11. Aspects Of The Unknown
  12. Solid Child

Reviewer: Colin McNamara
Nov 9, 2011

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