Dec 2011 05

Black Ice - Before the First LightBlack Ice
Category: Alternative / Shoegazer / Electronica
Album: Before the First Light
Stars: 3
Blurb: If the ’80s underground had never erupted, this is what it would sound like today.


The new album from Black Ice is a stark reminder of where most of us came from in the ’80s. Often times, the sound is very reminiscent of early Siouxie and the Banshees before they really found their footing in their style of music. That is actually a positive for Black Ice. While many bands today try and take their influences from previous eras and modernize them, most fail, whereas Black Ice actually succeeds in paying tribute to the artists that came before them yet creating their own unique niche. Black Ice takes cues from modern bands such as Sleigh Bells with noisy and distorted rhythms going for the doom-laden side of things, creating a mood of bleakness with their sounds, textures, and music.

On the production side of things, there really isn’t any new ground tread upon, but what they have done here evokes some distance from the music and the listener. Both the vocals and the drums are mixed a wee further back, creating a sense of tension between the listener’s ears and the music that is being played. There is also a heavy amount of effects on the drums, at times giving them a spooky, otherworldly feel and leaving the listener unbalanced again. The unique sound design and well done production makes for an enjoyable listen, but the darkness in the music would probably keep you from spinning this at your local watering hole.

All in all, this is a solid record and a record this writer would recommend to fans of Siouxie, Danielle Dax, Curve, and maybe even some more contemporary artists like Sleigh Bells, M83, and even Juicifer to an extent. This is a well done album that is something of a standout among the piles of stuff in the review bin.
Track list:

  1. These Times
  2. Farewell Prize
  3. Sooner or Later
  4. Dee is Roaming
  5. 59 Seconds in the Forest
  6. Divination
  7. Bells of Sicily
  8. Castles in the Ground
  9. Before the Dawn

Black Ice Website
Black Ice MySpace
Black Ice Facebook
Hungry Eye Records Website
Hungry Eye Records MySpace
Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3
Gabe Wilkinson (Microwaved)

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