Sunday, 21 October 2012

Ichabod - Dreamscapes from Dead Space

It is obvious at first listen that this a confident, veteran band.  It's been about three years since Ichabod`s last album (`2012`) and the depth, scope and completeness of vision on this latest offering lends no clues as to the upheaval in this band over that span.  Or maybe it does.

Perhaps the music is a perfect reflection of everything that has happened to the band in the past three years.  An expansion of sound into new territory (brought vividly to fruition here) which saw the band part ways with original singer Ken McKay due to creative differences.   The band`s entire future was put in jeopardy but from the chaos, the band pushed through and came out the other side with a supportive new vocalist (John Fadden) and a musical statement that is among the most articulate and fresh of anything released in the sludge or stoner genres this year.

While a lot of bands struggle and strive to find a distinctive voice and occasionally come close, that ever-elusive 'statement' on the tip of their proverbial tongues but never quite articulated, Dreamscapes From Dead Space is an instance of a band speaking fluently in a language all their own.  I call it Space Sludge.

There's a duality of light and heavy, light and dark, tight restriction and infinite space.  It's a tightrope balance which Ichabod navigates effectively, bridging the chasms between heavy slabs of sludge and  calmer passages of more traditional rock with the expansiveness of space rock.

No song encompasses the overall structure and sonic landscape of the album as a whole better than opener ``Huckleberry``.  A high speed chase through burning streets littered with wrecks and hazards that leads to an escape through a welcoming and expansive desert.  ``Epiphany`` does nearly the same in reverse to equal if opposite effect.  ``Hollow God`` and ``Looking Glass`` are absolute scorchers while ``Baba Yaga`` and ``All Your Love`` begin as more subdued offerings of Space / Prog rock and eventually kick into Stoner / Sludge overdrive.  Through it all though, Ichabod never really forgets what they do best: play loud, hard and heavy.

Highly Recommended.

Reminds me of: Hawkwind, Kyuss, Steak, -(16)-

My Rating: 4.5/5

Genre: Stoner Metal, Rock, Sludge, Psychedelic, Space Rock, Prog Rock

Total run time: 47:11

Release Date: October 9, 2012

Suggested listening activity for fellow non-stoners: Popping the clutch on your couch and driving that sucker to the moon, baby!

More Info

Better reviews:
The Obelisk

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