Published February 20, 2015
‘Ascending//Descending’ is the debut effort of Icelandic hardcore upstarts Icarus, which makes the mastery of the metallic hardcore genre displayed on the album all the more impressive. Every song is composed with a great sense of dynamics—the band switch between parts with great timing and pace, never letting a part overstay its welcome, yet never stacking too many separate ones on top of each other without proper transitions.
The music is all at once subtly melodic, terribly aggressive and insanely gripping. However, it is the all-consuming passion—oozing from every wail, stroke and chord—that proves the album’s strongest selling point, staying with the listener long after the last note fades into the ether.
Converge is an obvious reference point, yet never in a derivative manner. The production is at once clear and suitably heavy, contrasting each instrument’s sound perfectly against everything else, so that every performance is equally audible and distinct, a din or wall of sound ever-developing.
Bottom line: ‘Ascending//Descending’ is a strong outing in every respect from a rapidly rising band, who back it up in live settings with a feral force of tenacity and extreme aggression.
You can follow Icarus on bandcamp.