Icewind - All Is Dust
Melodic Power Metal
10 songs ()
Release year: 2006
Reviewed by Jason
Surprise of the month

From a province that produces technical death metal albums by the truckload, it’s finally nice to see power metal being made in Quebec that meets the same standards of quality as its death metal counterpart. Although I have not had the chance to hear Icewind’s demo The Inner Storm, based on Ben’s review of the release I can attest that Icewind has come a long way since their first recording in 2004. Though Icewind’s first full-length album All Is Dust may not be a perfect one, nor one which was destined to revolutionize the Melodic Power Metal genre, it is nonetheless a very promising album well worthy of the “surprise of the month” title because it manages to reach its goal; delivering a powerful, melodic, and grandiose sound.

Icewind’s music can be described as straightforward Melodic Power Metal that brings to mind bands such as Sonata Arctica, Mob Rules and Stratovarius. Just as the band’s name hints, the music is themed around winter and fantasy subjects, but if the band name wasn’t enough of a hint, then the first track after the introduction titled Winter Heaven should do the trick. For the most part, All Is Dust is an energetic album filled with double bass, harmonious guitar solos and the occasional galloping riff (sounds typical doesn’t it?), but what is special about this album is its ability to set an icy mood that is really reminiscent of winter. Unlike much power metal, the music isn’t strictly centered on high-pitched vocals, the senseless beating of double pedals and ripping blistering solos, but instead on creating a sound which delivers a powerful yet chilly atmosphere. Steve Gemme’s keyboard work may be the outstanding reason behind the winter sound, but without the chanting chorals, smooth guitar licks and Gabriel Langelier’s impressive vocals I believe the band would be far from achieving its current mood. Though it may sound a little contradictory to say this at this point, the band’s biggest strong point, which is delivering a “wintery” mood, is also a bit of a setback in that this atmospheric sound sounds quite similar the whole way through. Almost every track stays within the same range sound-wise, meaning that all the tunes have piano interludes that are very much in the same vein in terms of tone and style, and the same would go for many of the riffs and solos. To call All is Dust boring or repetitive would be an immense exaggeration, its just that I believe that an with this kind of sound and potential the band could have made a little more room for experimentation instead of being as straight forward as it is.

If I were to pick a favorite track from All Is Dust, it would most probably be the last track on the album titled Trapped in a Dream simply because I’m a sucker for energy and catchy choruses. A close second would be Winter Heaven, but Langelier’s vocals on Trapped In a Dream show an impressive range, Jay “The Ripper” Menard’s guitar work is also at it’s best, and not to mention the fact that this tune was a big crowd pleaser when Icewind opened for Dragonforce a few months back here in Montreal.

Overall this is a solid release from the Quebec power-metallers that call themselves Icewind, especially taking into consideration that this is their first full-length album. If you’re a fan of anything Melodic Power Metal, I suggest taking a look into this band. I am more than certain that this band will progress in the future and I am looking forward how they do so!

Killing Songs :
Winter Madness, No Other Way,Trapped In a Dream
Jason quoted 75 / 100
Other albums by Icewind that we have reviewed:
Icewind - Inner Storm reviewed by Ben and quoted no quote
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