“Breaking The Ice”

By Dr. Abner Mality

The story behind this Swedish band is pretty incredible. They have actually been in existence since 1985 but “Breaking The Ice” is their first full fledged album. Talk about persistence! They were an all-girl crew for a long time but now boast a token dude as drummer, Andre Holmqvist. When Ice Age started, an all woman band in thrash metal was almost unheard of but they have lasted long enough to see female involvement in extreme metal become relatively common.

Ice Age play smooth, somewhat technical thrash metal very much in the mode of the Big Four. Their style has stayed consistent through the years and you can tell we’re dealing with a very seasoned group of musicians here. The music is thrash, but not the rip you head off variety practiced by many Europeans. I get a very Megadeth type vibe from most of their tracks, with occasional injections of Slayerish speed and chunky Anthrax style riffing. I love the sound of Sabrina Kihlstrand’s voice. It manages to be rough yet smooth at the same time and can handle slick vocal melodies. The guitar work of Linnea Landstedt would give Mustaine a run for his money.

The Ice Age sound is very consistent and by the end of the album, it does get somewhat predictable and samey. But that’s only a minor quibble. Top tracks for me would the excellent opener “Fleet Street” and the more aggressive and thrashy “Instant Justice” and “General Alert”.

I don’t know if Ice Age will now get their due after so many years in the trenches, but it’s sure not for lack of trying.