“Ice War”

By Dr. Abner Mality

Wow, you’re not gonna get much more old school than “Ice War”. The pub for the record says that this record ignores everything that’s happened in metal in the last 30 years and they are right! This is a dead ringer for something from the tail end of the 70’s or very early 80’s. This is something from the pre-Venom, pre-Metallica, pre-thrash era for sure.

That does not necessarily guarantee a good record, but “Ice War” is endearingly authentic, right down to the primitive looking cover, the crude production and the often awkward vocal lines. I have heard a lot of “nostalgia” bands that are really horrible but this bunch avoids that. Somehow even when things sound clunky, they work!

It’s the project of one Jo Capitalicide, who has been in the punk and metal underground for quite some time. One good thing about “Ice War” is that it’s all fast paced and pounding stuff…no ballads here. This is not 70’s hard rock, it’s definitely metal and in many cases, a kind of proto speed metal. Cuts like “Standing Rock”, “Slaver’s Whip” and “Falling Out” have metal bite. Think of the faster NWOBHM .

The album is also strongly linked to the plight of Native Americans, which you can tell by the cover and many of the song titles. There’s a punk touch to the lyrics. Jo’s voice could never be described as great and in some spots like the chorus of “Reverence For Gold” they go off the rails completely, but he manages to keep things together enough for you to enjoy the record. You’ve got to be able to take that crude late 70’s/early 80’s production though.

A good album for a trip down a heavy metal memory lane…