Odious Icon – Planet of Immense Decay (Negative Vibe Records)Sunday, 22nd October 2017
Not usually the geographic location one tends to identify with death and thrash, Norway has been unearthing more of these type of bands in recent years. Take Odious Icon, who sling both genres together for a frantic 26-minutes on Planet of Immense Decay. Even if there is a trace amount of black metal to be had.
While death and thrash are the focal points for Odious Icon, one characteristic seems to trump the rest of them when listening to the album. That piece is groove, of course. After an explosive opening in the first few seconds of the title track (the type of storm the gates type approach more bands should emphasize), it takes no time before the band is neck-deep in groove. Thrashy grooves, deathly grooves, it doesn’t matter for the band, as they seem to use this element to provide some grounding and cohesion to their otherwise frenetic formula. And this mentality does have its charms. The slower (well, compared to the onslaught they can drum up) material helps to make a sticking point, and give the listener something to latch onto. You’ll find bountiful grooves in each track, and it’s a very clear strong suit for the act (“Bloodbath” has some of the finest). The faster and adrenaline-soaked material that makes up much of the rest of the album works, but not nearly as well as its groovy counterparts. Occasionally, it’s hard to discern the high tempo moments apart going from song to song, and while it’s not a death sentence by any means, the band would do well to give the faster moments something more memorable to match that of the insane grooves.
A get-in, get-out mentality does serve Planet of Immense Decay well. It allows them to stick to more of their excellent grooves, but one would wish the power of their fastest material would match it. But still recommended for the groove-lovers amongst us.