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I.C.O.N.: The Blacklist

From the outside it looked as though UK metallers I.C.O.N. were done, six years now having passed since their New Born Lie debut smacked us between the eyes. In the meantime roads have been travelled with everyone from Witchfynde and Furyon to Voodoo Six and Diamond Head, honing this straight up metal beast into a slick wallop of aggression; something plain to hear from the get-go on The Blacklist. The obvious comparisons come in the shape of Godsmack or Metallica, yet Black Label Society or The Almighty wouldn't be outrageous touching points either.

Vocalist Mark Sagar is a mean beast, grating, yet sharp in delivery, although his limited range and pushy style may not be for all. However if you stick with this vicious barker, you do begin to see and hear things from his point of view as he perfectly compliments the head down and charge attack from Scott Knowles on guitars, Reece Bevan on bass and ex-Blaze Bayley drummer Larry Paterson. Subtlety isn't really high on the agenda, mid paced stomps following up-tempo fist smashers, as "A Room In Hell" jostles into view, or "Feeding The Negative" insists on your attention. The almost title track of "Devil's Blacklist" proves a real highlight; Knowles ripping out a riff of real quality, Bevan and Paterson hammering out a slow groove that somehow has you hooked. It's in these surrounds that Sagar comes into his own, the authority in his delivery bringing the solid confidence material in this tempo requires and so often lacks.

Cleverly while I.C.O.N. have a clearly defined sound, they also have the capability to add nuances and alteration from song to song, clearly marking each track as its own entity. Yet for some, I'd suggest there isn't enough light and dark shown across this album to draw them in, which may lead to possible suggestions that there's a lack of instant gratification as you try to become acquainted with this band. However, by being uncompromising and brutal, I.C.O.N. know exactly what they're aiming for on this release and to their credit they do it extremely well. The Blacklist may well be more of a slow burn than a quick fix, however in the long run that's one of if strengths, revealing an album brimming with solid, sturdy metal that stands up well against the band's many competitors.

Track Listing
1. A Room In Hell
2. Feeding The Negative
3. Grindin' Wheel
4. I'm The Venom
5. Welcome To My War
6. Speak To Your God
7. Devil's Blacklist
8. Wrong Way Back
9. Man of the North
10. Deconverted
11. Drowning In Their Screams

Added: June 12th 2015
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: I.C.O.N. online
Hits: 2633
Language: english

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