Despite having only one extant founder member – vocalist Leif Jensen – German thrashers Dew-Scented have managed to survive as far as their ninth album and this year celebrate their 20th anniversary.
And what better way to do it than with a stunning album that defines both the band and the genre?
Quite frankly, ‘Icarus’ (like all their previous albums, it begins with the ninth letter of the alphabet – prophetic?) is a masterwork in the death/thrash canon: an opus that takes all the best aspects of both sub-species – stunning guitar licks and riffs, amazing drumming, brutal bass lines and totally awesome vocals – and moulds them into one gloriously amazing homogenous organic whole.
There is not a weak link. Koen Herfst’s drumming is exemplary, mixing totally fuck-you blastbeating and kicking with an effortlessly simplistic but emphatic efficiency that would easily stand alongside the likes of the maestro Dave Lombardo and is matched by the equally efficient bass work of fellow new recruit Joost van der Graaf (minus the generator – OK, pathetic joke.. we know). And then there’s the guitar work of Rory Hansen and Marvin Vriesde, which is completely awesome all the way through the 11 tracks: the riffs are all hook-laden and the solos are, in places, quite extraordinary; not startlingly original but extremely effective in their delivery.
Over the top of everything lies Jensen’s extra-terrestrial vocal – a classic thrash tour de force mixed with a dynamite death growl that sees him standing head and shoulders above the vast majority of challengers in this particular field.
A stunning album, destined to be a classic and well deserving of a rarely awarded 10/10.
‘Icarus’ is out now on Metal Blade.