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Many praise this album as being the savior of USBM, but this is really not the case. When did unoriginal lyrics, death metal drumming and boring guitar riffs become concidered something to enjoy in black metal? Don't get me wrong, this album is decent, but it lacks in originality and emotion. If you hadn't figured it out by now Tony Laureno is the drummer for this band, along with other members from Aurora Borealis. If you, know anything about Tony you will know that he has been the drummer for acts such as Nile, God Dethroned and Belphegor, and has also been the live drummer for many great black metal acts like Nachtmystium and 1349, and he has played for the infamous Dimmu Borgir. I have heard his work in Nile and I saw him play live with 1349 and Dimmu Borgir, and let me tell you, he needs to stick to death metal. His style really does not work with the black metal sound. If you don't know what I mean then compare the drumming on "In their darkened shrines" by Nile to the drumming on Hellfire by 1349. The styles, while similar in speed, differ greatly in mood and feeling. This is my first problem with the album.
Secondly, this band complains about being compared to Immortal, but how can people overlook the obvious similarities between the two bands lyrics? ICE has used a very cliche concept in the black metal world and made it their own by wearing kabuki masks and white robes. The atmosphere of the album is not even as chilly as that of say, Blizzard beasts by the great Immortal. The guitar riffs are very bland aswell. They seem to just carry on from one song to the other with no memorable moments save the first real song on the album with the intro vocal "We are fucking ICE!" which is probably the best part of the entire album.
Now there are soom thing about this album that I do enjoy, one of the things being the vocals which are very fitting. It is not so much that this album is bad, but rather that it is NOT good. The whole doesn't pick up any presence. I can't sit down and listen to this entire album, its just too boring. But I digest, the intro is pretty great, and the the following song seems to really be going somewhere, but after 3 or 4 songs I just get annoyed.
Pick this up if you think that you like Tony's drumming mixed with "black" metal aesthetics presented in an icy, frost-bitten apocalypse. If you think that my warnings are valid, then just download it, don't spend 15 or so dollars on it.