Montreal's ICEWIND surely are not the luckiest bunch. First they manage to secure a deal with Italian Steelheart Records label, then said label closes its doors, leaving the Canadians and their brand new album "All Is Dust" in exactly that, dust. But thankfully the band did not let that discourage them and is pursuing the promotion and distribution of the CD on their own, which is why I am holding the disc in my hands right now.
I remember having heard their EP of two or three years back and I was not very impressed, the whole thing still sounded too generic and raw, but hey, that's what a few years of added experience are for and I can happily announce that the guys have made the best out of the time and come up with a thoroughly enjoyable Power Metal album, which will probably not convert anybody to this style, but should completely satisfy any follower of the genre.
Variety is one factor that ICEWIND definitely receive high scores in, catchiness and good structure as well, despite bringing some tempo changes into the songs, they still manage to keep them very accessible and dynamic, which is something many bands fail, when they try to differ from the rest. "Walking Alone" is a very good example for this, just like the a bit faster "Follow The Wind", which also incorporates some piano and dynamics, which also are a winning factor in the following title track.
"Washed Away" is a brilliant ballad, while "No Other Way" goes full force ahead, so the boys really know how to shake things up and once we reach the Spanish acoustic guitar in "Inner Storm" and the twin guitars of "Trapped In A Dream" I do not need any more proof for the song writing abilities of ICEWIND!
The production is not bad either, same goes for the cover, so they are contenders for the Canadian Power Metal throne, in the company of ANTIQUUS from British Columbia and fellow Québec bands FORGOTTEN TALES, HANKER and SOUTHERN CROSS (in alphabetical order), it's good to see that this style still has hopeful bands in this country!
(Online November 5, 2006)