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Icewind: All Is Dust
Power/Progressive Metal
Rating: 5.0/5.0

It's uncommon for me to review an album that is not a current release, certainly not something more than a year old. But there are always exceptions to the rule. This is the case with Canadian metal band Icewind and their 2006 full-length debut, 'All Is Dust.' Once I discovered and purchased this great work, it never left my home or car stereo for several months. In April 2007, Icewind closed a deal with Underground Symphony for European distribution. This is more than enough cause to revisit this release. Now, you should discover Icewind, too.

I was basically infutuated by their style of metal. It is essentially power metal adorned with basic heavy metal and progressive influences. Yet, the compelling feature for me was how much the music was driven by keyboards, specifically some very beautiful piano nuances. A perfect example is the beautiful epic 'Washed Away.' Steve Gemme is a creative wizard.

This song also reveals several other phenomonal characteristics of Icewind. One is the Gabriel Langelier impressive vocals. I don't think there are enough adjectives to describe his style, yet here are some: controlled, expressive, emotional, strong and soothing. He can both scream and croon at the same time. This man has a future in singing metal. Another great trait is the guitar duo of Jay Ménard and Vincent Poliquin because their approach is equally soaring and sublime. One needs only to listen to the solos and the acoustic work on 'Inner Storm' to be convinced.

There is so much more to say about 'All Is Dust,' but I will try to summarize. The songs are beautifully arranged and lyrically coherent. The rhythm section is nearly flawless, thunderous when necessary, and supportive throughout. Also, considering this is a first work, the production is astonishing. It is hardly perfect, but with obvious clarity of ideas and shear determination, these guys strived for their very best. Creativity driven by a strong work ethic will trump the inherent mediocrity and shallowness inherent in this genre anytime. Well done, Icewind!

'All Is Dust' is a terrific metal album filled with great songs and musicianship. I'm happy to see that they may soon get international recognition (America will, of course, ignore them.) Very highly recommended. Find it and buy it!

In Short

'All Is Dust' is a terrific metal album filled with great songs and musicianship. I'm happy to see that they may soon get international recognition (America will, of course, ignore them.) Very highly recommended. Find it and buy it!

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