ICE AGE – Breaking the Ice (Album Review)

Ice Age Breaking The IceAll-female thrash bands. Can you think of any? I can’t until the promo for Ice Age‘s Breaking the Ice reached me. Well, the attached PR bills Ice Age as “one of the most successful all-female thrash bands of the last 30 years…”. It also states that they have never actually released an album. Apparently, the “Big Four” of thrash (Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax) even dedicated a whole concert in Gothenburg to Ice Age! OK, I’m intrigued. This sounds incredibly similar to Canadain band Shock that I stumbled across several years back….but that’s another story!
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ICE AGE – A Short History Lesson

Ice Age hail from Gothenburg, Sweden and came into being in early 1985. Meeting through a music store advertisement, Sabrina Kihlstrand and Pia Nyström formed Ice Age. With the roster rounded out by Helena Kihlstrand (Sabrina‘s sister) and Tina Strömberg, Ice Age were more power metal oriented in the early stages. Originally named Rock Solid, they changed to Ice Age after the first demo. As the Ice Age sound became rawer, they moved into playing very technical thrash. Touring several countries and playing many festivals, these Swedish ladies gradually gained more and more popularity. By 1990 Ice Age had recorded four demos. Rock Solid (1986), General Alert (1987), Untitled (1988), and Instant Justice (1989).

The band survived several lineup adjustments. Bassist Helena gave way to Viktoria Larsson in 1986. Vocalist Kihlstrand departed in 1989, citing irreconcilable differences between her and the manager. At that time two members were inducted in American vocalist Debbie Gunn and Italian guitarist Isabella Fronzoni. Six months later, again due to issues with the manager Ice Age split up in 1990.

The Current ICE AGE

Ice Age2015 saw them playing their first show in 25 years. Now, with a strong new roster, Ice Age have returned! Joining original members Sabrina Kihlstrand and Viktoria Larsson we find Linnea Landstedt and André Holmqvist. Drummer Holmqvist comes from the band Manimal and as far as I can see would be the first male member. Finally, this band, with such a strong following and respect from their peers unveil their debut album. On October 21st, 2017 Breaking the Ice became available courtesy of GMR Music.

Breaking the Ice features five newly recorded songs from the classic 80s demos and five brand new songs.

ICE AGE – Breaking the Ice

“Fleet Street” launches Breaking the Ice in a big way. The longest composition on board Breaking the Ice, it runs over six and a half minutes. Soft guitar greets the listener before the power charged riffs invade ahead of the minute mark, pounding and rampaging throughout. The vocals are gravel raked and brimming with venom. This track does well to establish the group to those not previously in the know. That said, I’m not a big fan of the song. For me, it’s “Hell or Nothing” that begins the infection. The venom and bitterness of Kihlstrand shine through here in sound as well as lyrical content. Awesome track that’s more identifiable chorus-wise.

Ice AgeFrom then on we are served (bashed in the head with) tracks all north of the four-minute mark. The newly crafted compositions are “Hell or Nothing”, “Clever”, “Breaking the Ice”, “Total Collapse”, and “No Need to Bleed”. The album is not “sectioned” yet all tracks new and old are interspersed, play well front to back and incite copious amounts of headbanging. Standouts for me are the aforementioned “Hell or Nothing” as well as “Instant Justice” and “Breaking the Ice”.

Conclusions

I also discovered that the band’s official website contains a collection of all their demos…and are downloadable! Go check out the Ice Age music and buy Breaking the Ice for your own official copy of some beefy thrash. Now that Ice Age has returned from the dead wouldn’t they be a great addition at the 2018 Sweden Rock Festival? Just sayin’ 🙂

BUY: Breaking the Ice

Official Website / Facebook

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The Meister 

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