Wow! I would never imagine that I would find the perfect modern Saxon “Crusader” following. Bottomline, that’s exactly what Icestorm “The Northern Crusaders” is with its strong Amon Amarth influences and Melodic Death Metal drive. To be really fair with Icestorm, “The Northern Crusaders” is much more than this. It’s a mix of Power Metal theme with the sonancy of Melodic Death Metal which turns out to be really a killer. Moreover, to understand better “The Northern Crusaders” it’s necessary to analize it in full. Its theme and music passing through its iconography. I’m not aware how long did it take Icestorm to complete the process of creating, writing, recording, and finally releasing the album, but I guess it took some long years. This is the kind of earthshaking album by its heavier than hell sonancy. My headset really shakes while listening to it.
The album is opened up by a long speech about the Teotonic Knights crusades called “Crusaders of God (Introduction to the Crusaders).” This intro is here to give the fan an idea of what Icestorm will deal musically in the album. It gives the fan a standpoint. Historically, this theme hasn’t been exhaustely exploited yet as the Crusades have been. From the historical point of view it’s very interesting to catch the grip Icestorm get in here. It’s the mix of Power Metal knights and castles and dragons with Melodic Death Metal vikings and norse heritage. Musically, on the other hand, what my dear fan will find it here is a pungent – and I have to say – even more produced and well perfomed version of Amon Amarth Melodic Death Metal. At first, “The Northern Crusaders” is astonishing and it gets more and more astonishing as tracks go by. Marc Storm’s vocals are able to fill in the songs with the melody the guitars use to do in other Melodic Death Metal bands do. There is also a very carefull use of effects and keyboards. I say carefull because they are here to give the melodic intent the band desires without sugaring the songs.
My dear child of the night might at first feel that “The Northern Crusaders” addresses to Amon Amarth “Deceiver of the Gods” era. It’s half true. That’s what I thought at first. But then paying attention to the details – remember the devil is in them – I noticed that Icestorm’s instrumentals vary much more. Take a look at the addictive “The Iron Fist on the Lance Shaft (The Teutonic Knights March to War)” whose chorus gets in the mind. Well, highly recommended album, if you allow me to say.
Icestorm “The Northern Crusaders” will be released on February 24th via Blood, Fire, Death Promo.
- Crusaders of God (Introduction to the Crusaders)
- Across the Baltic Sea (Ascent of the Northern Campaigns)
- The Iron Fist on the Lance Shaft (The Teutonic Knights March to War)
- The Night Before the Battle (Bonfires, Prayers And Songs at the Teutonic Camp)
- The Power to Fight (Peipus Lake April 5th, 1242 – Dawn of the Battle of the Ice)
- Clash of Titans (The Battle Begins)
- The Teutonic Charge (Bishop Hermann of Dorpat Leading the Charge)
- Fields of Death (Nevsky’s Ambush)
- Novgorod Arise (Defeat of the Teutonic Knights)
- Triumph of the Pagan Warriors (Lament for the Fallen Ones)
Watch “Across the Baltic Sea (Ascent of the Northern Campaigns)” official music video here: