Salt Lake City’s Iceburn have returned after a very long hiatus with their new album Asclepius and with their last album Land Of Wind And Ghosts having been released way back in 2000, it feels great to have the band back after such a long time. The band merged hardcore (having been signed to Revelation Records and Victory Records back in the early 90s) with jazz, noise rock, metal, and psychedelia to create some really forward-thinking heavy music and now with Asclepius, they are continuing to do just that.
Asclepius is just two tracks but the vast length of both (both tracks are almost eighteen minutes long apiece) and all the different influences contaminated within makes it seem like a whole host of songs here.
The sprawling Healing The Ouroboros opens proceedings and contains some fine and doomy riffs right alongside a spine-tingling groove that drives the track along with some immense guitar playing in the middle of the track. As the track winds down, it takes a change of pace, that pace is slowed down to almost a crawl and that just makes sure the sound is all the more epic, especially as this opening salvo reaches a menacing and feedback-laden climax.
Dahlia Rides The Firebird follows and ultimately ends the album and it begins with a teasing groove before erupting into a full-on and bass-heavy doom laden groove which would satisfy any fan of bands like Sleep immensely. From then on in, the rest of the song is a total riff-fest that takes in those jazz and psychedelic influences massively, and the results are simply breathtaking and as Asclepius concludes in a wail of feedback, it is clear that this has been a stunning listening experience.
It has to be said that Iceburn are on the top of their game here, vocalist/guitarist Gentry Densleys playing and singing is immense as is the playing of the rest of the band (bassist Cache Tolman, drummer Joseph ‘Chubba’ Smith and guitarist James Holden and even though they took that long hiatus, they still sound as tight as ever as a musical unit.
Asclepius is an epic undertaking but delivered with so much finesse and passion that make sit a joy to immerse yourself in,and hopefully, Iceburn won’t leave it as long next time when it comes to bringing a new album out.
Iceburn – Asclepius released 25th June 2021 via Southern Lord
Words: Gavin Brown