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The ferocious death metal madness…..the insanely fast riffs and blast-beats…the excellent neoclassical solos; all these new elements for Vital Remains' music continue here, on this over-polished album, Icons of Evil. The album is basically Dechristianize part two, except it contains a boost in production quality and the guitar tone is much heavier. It's definitely not a masterpiece like most Vital fans make it to be. It's just the same as Dechristianize, a fairly decent album as far as music quality is concerned, and an extremely monstrous one.
Icons of Evil features great instrumentation, and Glen Benton is back and performing vocal duties, but on this album, his vocals are horrendous! Judging by his vocal duties, I don't think he put much effort into the vocals. He sounded like he drank 20 bottles of beer, stumbled up to the mic, and endlessly belched and burped something uncontrollably, probably about killing Christians. He sounded like a drunk, fat, dying pig suffering from some kind of throat infection. There was nothing genuine in his voice, and everything about his vocals sounded very forced out. On Dechristianize, his vocals were powerful, like a demon full of endless rage, but here, that's not the case. It sounds like Glen's voice has become too old and worn out.
On the other hand, Tony and Dave's instrumentation is impressive, even though their musical style isn't as amazing as on earlier releases. Dave comes back with his phenomenal guitar solos containing lots of melody and emotion to them. His drumming is still extremely technical and fast, and Tony's riffs are very fierce and even heavier, some of the riffs a bit catchier than the ones on Dechristianize, especially Hammer Down The Nails!
Just like the songs of Dechristianize, each song on Icons becomes more and more predictable through the album, and there's a vibe as if the songs are very contrived and weren't created as naturally as the songs of the earlier albums.
Repetition seems to be a very important element on Icons, just like how it was for the previous two albums. Every song is around seven or eight minutes, the shortest song being six minutes. Vital Remains really put major emphasis on the repetition of all the riffs on every song, which really brings this album down a lot. If each song was condensed, it'd be a bit better, especially because every riff is very straightforward but repeated a lot.
With all that being said, Icons Of Evil is definitely not the best Vital Remains album, and continues the unbelievably brutal work they began with Dechristianize, but the album is alright. Icons has some excellent qualities, like the intensity of songs like Hammer Down The Nails and Born To Rape The World, the intro followed by Icons of Evil is amazing, but the repetition and Glen's vocals really brought the album down from being 100 percent amazing.