Icewind - All is dust 4/5

Reviewed: 2-16-07


1. A breeze of hope
2. Winter heaven
3. Walking alone
4. Follow the wind
5. All is dust
6. Washed away
7. No other way
8. Inner storm
9. Premonitions
10. Trapped in a dream

In the past, only the female fronted Forgotten Tales has come to mind when someone's brought up power metal from Canada. But we've got a really cool debut here folks! Also out of Canada, Icewind's 'All is dust' is a thoroughly enjoyable and uplifting CD that I seem to like more and more with each listen. They sit right in the center of the power metal genre, and I find them most comparable to bands like Heavenly, Sweden's Insania, Olympos Mons, or maybe think of early Helloween. There's a strong influence from the Twilightning, Cardiant, Sonata Arctica, Moonville, Stratovarius, Nightscape and Supreme Majesty style too though, so they should appeal to many power metal fans.

In addition, 'All is dust' has some positive aspects, that especially for a debut, show a great deal of promise. For one, there are 2 lead guitarists (Jay "The Ripper" Menard and Vincent Poliquin) that pull off some amazing and very melodic guitar work, many times in an alternating/dueling manner it seems. Seriously, the lead guitar work is reason enough to pick this CD up! Secondly, there are a lot of wonderful piano and keyboard parts that are brilliantly intermixed with the rest of the music. Guitars certainly dominate, but the piano/keyboard work really adds something special to the CD.

Vocally, Gabriel Langelier has a clear and fairly simple-sounding voice that fits the music well. He probably won't be one of my favorites, but I really enjoy his vocals and have nothing negative to say about the guy, although there are times that I wish he was a bit more expressive. Altogether, the band has written/performed some fantastic songs with nice melodies, fun choruses, and 'All is dust' is a very memorable CD. I like every song, but I will mention track 3 "Walking alone" and the closer "Trapped in a dream" as being highlights. I will also single out the title-track (track 5) as being the best, as it recalls some of the greatest material from Sweden's Insania and the guitar work is spectacular. The slow and passionate track 6 "Washed away" is nice as well, and Gabriel's soaring vocals really make track 8 "Inner storm" stand out.

The CD's only minor flaw is the production could have been a little better, as it didn't score very well on my car-stereo test (which is perfect for power metal). Still, this is a debut and is self-released too, so I'm sure the band's 2nd CD (there better be one!! hehehe) will improve in that department. In the end, Icewind is easily one of the most talented power metal bands of late, and in my mind, they can definitely sit beside Forgotten Tales as one of Canada's best power metal bands. Highly recommended!!




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