I.C.E. – Apocalyptic End in White

Apocalyptic End in White

I.C.E., which stands for Imperial Crystalline Entombment, is the name of a band that shrouds itself in mystery. Each member wears a Michael Myers-style mask and a white robe (which calls to mind the evil offspring of Buckethead and Sunn) and takes a pseudonym – Mammoth, Blisserred, IceSickKill, and Bleak. The group’s basic story is of a deity known as Ravaskeith who will usher in a new ice age, and I.C.E. is his humble servant. Oddly enough, one would assume I.C.E. to have landed somewhere in Europe – say the icy depths of Finland or Norway – but instead this foursome calls Maryland home. For some, that fact alone might make this band seem more farce than anything, and you have to wonder if these guys take themselves that seriously.

The look and the premise of this band distinctly permeate the music here from the blistering guitar all the way to the thundering drums. The vocals are as demonic sounding as possible, making the inclusion of lyrics in the liner notes absolutely necessary. It’s not surprising though that the song topics are largely obsessed with death, winter, ice, freezing, and arctic landscapes. Oh, and that Ravaskeith guy. Apocalyptic End in White is like a dark fairy tale with which to scare the children.

Beyond the imagry, the real question is, are the members of I.C.E. – incognito or not – good musicians? The answer is an easy yes. As far as death metal goes, speed and technical prowess are most often king, and I.C.E. definitely has the ability in both areas. The 11 tracks are a full-throttle onslaught that doesn’t let up for a single moment. You will be assaulted with a barrage of metal mayhem that is sure to get your blood boiling and your head banging.

Black metal is a pretty specific genre that the average metal fan isn’t necessarily going to like. If any sort of gimmicks take away from your enjoyment of the music, then I.C.E. is not for you, as it is completely impossible to overlook this group’s persona. Technically speaking, Apocalyptic End in White is a solid album, and those who already dig this style will likely be thrilled to have a new powerhouse in their ranks.