There's probably not much to be said about ICHABOD's latest release that hasn't already been said. Yes, it's a concept album about the end of the world; yes, that concept has been done to death already and yes, that cover is pretty fucking weird. But I'll be damned if ICHABOD don't pull this off just a little bit.
"2012” is the sort of Stoner Metal album that simply demands to be listened to in a dirty basement with ridiculous amounts of alcohol and smoke. It's heavy, rocks like a bitch and is fun to listen to, despite the fact it's about the end of the world. It isn't just a straightforward Stoner Metal/Rock album though, it comes with its fair bit of experimentation. The concept that the band have chosen to use doesn't just come through in the lyrics or the presentation, samples and foreboding dialogue is used in between some songs and as the centre of some (see: “2012 Outro” and “New Years Prayer”), this really helps give the album a feel of cohesiveness and is probably the main high point of the album. Listening to the final outro is really quite a chilling experience.
Despite the stand out atmosphere though, the music isn't remarkably impressive. Although at spots it impresses (pretty much the entirety of the opener is the best music on the album) the album has a tendency to drag and the lack of killer material really starts to become an issue by the middle of the album, though thankfully the last two songs come some way to redeem it.
Saying that though, “2012” is still worth a listen if you're into this kind of Stoner music. At it's base is a simply solid unit of musicians who know what they're doing, and the atmosphere really gives it a unique edge. There''s definitely potential here, at least.
(Online February 16, 2010)