REVIEWS - 2016
Adelaide band Ice On Mercury is one of those exciting bands that you must have in your ‘can’t wait to see what they do next’ pile. Their last EP was an absolute gem… the kind of EP that you just have to have in your collection. Now along comes their brand new EP Blind Leading The Lifeless which again shows why Ice On Mercury are one of the most exciting bands around the moment.
The opening track (which shares the same name as the EP) does a very rare thing. It takes that classic Nu-Metal sound and somehow mixes with a brutal in-your-face-sound that sounds like it wants to lean out of your speakers and punch you in the face. The track is brought to life by some absolutely exceptional drumming from drummer Michael Golding while front-man Almir Djemailovic’s vocals have to be heard to be believed.
The band step up their hardcore sound with Little People, a track that sees them change sound and pace whenever they like throughout it without it ever feeling like it is jarring at all. The same goes for the vocals which shift from full on metal growls to clean vocals with complete ease… this is a feat that many other bands out there could stand to learn from. Numbers battles for the title of ‘best track on the album’ as it is a song that you simply fall in love with straight away. This time it is Nath Willason’s guitar work that seems to lead with a schizophrenic sound that brilliantly changes whenever the clean vocals kick in. The clean vocals here sound like something that The Scorpions would of be proud of… they are just that good.
For me though General Justification is the track of the EP. It has more of a rock feel and becomes a sweet love song (with a twist) that wouldn’t be out of place on any mixtape. My first reactions to the track is not only that I want to listen to it over and over, but why the hell isn’t it getting more radio play? The EP then closes with Wash It Away and Pantomime which again sees the band walking that amazing tight-rope of brutality with a mix of melody.
I’ve said before that Ice On Mercury are one of the most promising bands in Australia at the moment and Blind Leading The Lifeless shows that even more so. This is the kind of album that just makes you hope that the band decide to do a national tour sometime soon as you just know that it would sound brilliant live. There is no mistake Blind Leading The Lifeless is an early contender for album of the year.
5 out of 5 Stars!
"South Australian rock quartet Ice On Mercury are back with their third EP. Blind Leading The Lifeless is Ice On Mercury's most refined release to date. They certainly have found their sound and style Blind Leading The Lifeless is an incredible slice of heavy modern rock/metal. Produced superbly Ice On Mercury have held nothing back with this release. From the first listen a few weeks ago up to the most recent, the EP has grown me and has fast become one of this years best independent releases for me. The blend of melody, aggression, power, light and dark is the biggest draw for me. The musicianship is flawless, the songwriting brilliant, the songs are immaculately structured and i can only see a very bright future for Ice on Mercury if this a sign of things to come. Blind Leading The Lifeless sits perfectly among the finest releases of the year for me and is sure to find it's place in my top ten for 2016.
Track by Track:
1. Blind Leading The Lifeless - Don't let the subtle intro fool you, once this track hits the huge opening riff it is a ball of energy that just builds and builds.The vocal accents during the verses are perfectly placed, the chorus is instant and super catchy and has a huge mosh pit stomp to it. It instantly locks itself into your brain and finds you singing along with it.
2. Little People - This track is the most nu-metal sounding track on the album, I can hear so many subtle influences from Pantera to Korn and Slipknot on this track, but is uniquely Ice On Mercury. A super strong chorus is the icing on the cake for me. Almir's vocal styling's are highlighted as he gets to show off so many styles within one song. It is a true statement of how carefully they have chosen to construct their art and this track takes you on a journey.
3. Numbers - Relentless, aggressive and beautiful. Numbers is a thrash metal track inspired gem. Reminiscent and holds a tip of the hat to Anthrax at their finest. Live this track will no doubt stir up a huge mosh pit. Love it.
4. General Justification - A slight departure in style yet again, General Justification is great piece of song writing. It has the biggest commercial appeal on the album and is an obvious choice as a lead track to rock radio. Almir delivers yet another perfect performance vocally
5. Wash It Away - Brutal, forceful and groove filled. I love it, there is no way i can listen to this track quietly. If Faith No More, Pantera and Anthrax collaborated this would be their glorious bastard child. Enough said !!
6. Pantomime - Again, Ice On Mercury have hit the mark with Pantomime a heavy, melodic, brooding rock track that is a perfectly built beast.
Blind Leading The Lifeless is an all out assault on the senses, Australia embrace these guys because Ice On Mercury are sure to make some big noise overseas in the near future. The only disappointing thing about the EP is that it's not a full length album, that I can't wait for !!! I can feel the anticipation building as we speak !!!"
"Australia, and especially Adelaide, just keep producing great bands that not only take the live venues by storm, but also by producing great music, and Ice On Mercury latest EP- Blind Leading The Lifeless is just another testimony of just how the Australian live music scene just goes from strength to strength without slowing down.
From the first track to the last track on Blind Leading The Lifeless, you not only hear their craft, but you will also be mesmerized by their influences impacting throughout this entire EP. On the flipside of it all, it’s all killer with no filler (which means no throw in songs just to fill the gaps), because Ice On Mercury rips into massive power chords, heavy guitar driven riffs, with a mighty bass and heavy drums to make any fan of heavy rock/metal indulge the passion and dedication Ice On Mercury put into their hard work and dedication to give the fans exactly what they need.
With 6 massive, high octane songs, Ice On Mercury dedicate this EP to you, the fan, as you will find it hard to pick a favorite, and the reason for that is each song continues on after the next, the journey of this EP just gets better and better. The lads know their strength, passion and desire they put into making what could perhaps be their best release to date.
Wash It Away was the first song release from this EP, and as for first time you play it, it has to be played loud, really loud. The driven force behind Ice On Mercury just gives the listener a moment to be within himself or herself as we all should be living life to the full, without any hassles, but if we face our fears we can achieve anything.
What more could be said on Ice On Mercury?
Well not only are they dedicated to their craft, but they also enjoy playing to the live audience, and this EP tends to showcase that, even though in my honest opinion they are better live lol. But how awesome to sound not only awesome live but in the studio as well, which can be hard to achieve sometimes depends on production and many other things, but Ice On Mercury has thrown everything including the kitchen sink into this EP, that I can guarantee you’ll be wanting more.
So if you’re thirsty for good old hard rock/metal then I recommend you get yourself a copy of this mighty EP whether at one of their live gigs or from the band themselves and be blown away by just how far not only Adelaide, but how far Australian metal community has come"
4.5 out of 5 stars.
"The new Ice On Mercury EP, “Blind Leading the Lifeless” landed on my desk and I did not hesitate to get that music blasting out of the biggest speakers in my studio. I just knew I was in for something good, and I was not disappointed. The title track is everything you expect from the IOM boys, and nothing less. Driving riffs, a tight sound and the perfect mix just grabs your attention straight away, not to mention Ice On Mercury’s original style. It’s defiantly there, and it’s solid. If you love double kick drum as well, there’s plenty of that in this new EP. It’s tight, and I love the sound of it. One track that really got my attention though is called “Numbers”. The hook just grabbed me and held my attention. All of the tracks on this EP are fantastic; don’t get me wrong, but Numbers....just Wow! I can’t describe it. Just buy this EP and have a listen. Amazing.
I want to hear this EP all over the radio, online and Ice On Mercury the feature band on Music TV. Every time these guys release new material, they just get better and better. You can hear their passion for music in these tracks, and you can also hear professionalism. Just do your self a favour and get this EP. Why are you still here reading this? Go now!"
The Hard Rock Show C31 Melbourne and Geelong www.c31.org.au
"This is probably the heaviest release from this band yet, that said there is a lot more to this than meets the eye, lots of layering and ear candy in the production especially how certain guitar parts and synth have been mixed into it, it's an overall melodic heavy almost groove metal, touches of old sort of new metal. I won’t go as far as saying gentle as someone people might think that. I reckon fans of bands liked Disturbed, Rammstein, maybe some Deftones, would appreciate this, the band supporting Superheist is good fit. I’ve seen this band live before and I can imagine these new songs will go fucking off. On my first listen I was a little unsure of the heavier shift from the band and it’s always been there but not to this level, however once you really digest it, it’s fucking cool. I love the balance of going all out and keeping the melody at the really important parts, great hooks especially in the choruses, I like the overall mix, great depth and darkness captured a lot of light and air in there as well, a good balance which is not easily done. I like the clarity in the vocals it allows the lyrics to shine through and on that note they are really observational, really intelligent and always make a point with their songs. Tracks like numbers really pick up where the last EP left off so it feels like an organic progression for the band, very ballsy overall and if you like a more modern take on metal you will certainly enjoy this. Lots of diversity which is not really on the surface but it is present in all the little things and in the way the songs are written. Solid release that keeps you locked in and grows on you the more you listen to it. Great flow really good craft. No doubt these guys are ready for an album when ever they feel like doing it. I love the writing, overall amazing stuff. Apart from being a little unsure to absolutely falling in love with this release, one you could easily stick on repeat and enjoy whilst time goes by"
"9/10 - I love all the tracks"
It’s been a little over two months since Adelaide’s Ice On Mercury released their third EP and the votes are in: it slayed. Titled Blind Leading The Lifeless, it sees the band take their next step towards a much heavier sound than their previous releases—yet still maintaining their signature melody fans know and love.
The opening and title track, ‘Blind Leading The Lifeless’, honestly has all the makings of a classic. With a catchy heavy chorus that you can pick up instantly and gruff vocals that are supported by guitars—it definitely has that anthem type feel. If that’s not enough to convince you of its greatness, it came in at #49 in the US Hard Rock Daddy’s Top 100 songs for 2016—right behind major bands like Parkway Drive, I Prevail, Lamb of God and Killswitch Engage.
Following this song is ‘Little People’ and ‘Numbers’ where Ice On Mercury showcase their capacity for metal. You’ve got chugging riffs, aggressive vocals and impressive growls. These guys also know how to soften their music and cast a little lightness over the heaviness. With choruses that show off vocalist, Almir’s ability to switch from growls to melodic clean vocals and rocking guitar hooks, it’s clear that Ice On Mercury have their feet rooted in more genres than just metal.
‘General Justification’ slows the tempo down, giving the listener some respite before punching into ‘Wash It Away’ where heavy and melodic lines weave together. The last taste of this EP is the song ‘Pantomime’ and it’s a closer all right! Bringing together metal, rock and a bit of punk groove, this song is classically Ice On Mercury—a great, uplifting chorus surrounded by shouts, growls and thumping melodies.
Blind Leading the Lifeless is an EP that should be in your music collection. It’s fresh, it’s catchy, it’s heavy but not too heavy, and it rocks!
Ice On Mercury have built a big reputation in their native Australia, their style of blending hardcore with balls to the wall metal bordering on grind core at times will hit a lot of the right notes with fans of each of those genres.
Opener and title track ‘Blind Leading The Lifeless’ changes even from those styles adding in elements of thrash finding itself going all early 2000’s with Limp Bizkit like breakdowns. It is packing in a lot into its four minute length.
When they keep it completely simple is when they really shine. General Justification is a banger and flows…the time changes are organic. It is a great song and the way it stops dead at the end is really fucking cool.
Keeping it heavy with plenty of melody attached and zips between clean and gruff ticks all the right boxes. The songs are well written and are sure to be pit swirlers.
The promising band from Australia released their vivacious third mini album. The guys play vibrant rocking groove metal with some presence of heavy metal and sometimes nu metal. The group’s sound is remarkable with dense guitar riffs, tough rhythms and proper vocals. In a nutshell, the album is good in everything except its short duration. Let’s wait for the full length album.
RYAN VAN POEDEROOYEN
DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT
"I'm really impressed with the new music. Sounds great, excellent performances and catchy tunes. Michael is killing it on the drums. Nice work brother! Keep up the great work everyone!"
This (r)Adelaide band is not attempting to re-invent any wheels or experiment with the artform that is rock ‘n’ roll whatsoever, that is not the point. These boys just want to turn their guitars up to 10, slam the groove down with a sledgehammer, throw in a melody or two here and there and rock the fuck out.
And to that end they succeed admirably. Blind Leading The Lifeless is a six track EP that walks that fine line between heavy rock and heavy metal very skilfully, and thus should appeal to rock lovers and metalheads alike. There are plenty of big, anthemic choruses for rock fans to thrust their fists to the sky to, whilst the guitars are plenty heavy enough and there’s more than enough in the way of enormous double-kick driven grooves for those of a heavier disposition to bang their heads to. Check out Little People for proof of the latter and General Justification of the former.
Ice On Mercury aren’t just a one dimensional, balls to the wall heavy rock band though, they are skillful enough and have enough songwriting nous to inject some very welcome dynamics into the sound too. There are some softer moments and some good variations in groove and tempo from one song to the next, and this keeps interest levels up.
I’d imagine this band would kick all manner of arse in a live setting too. The EP shows immense promise, and anyone into just about any type of heavy music will find something to dig on here
Adelaide heavy hitters Ice On Mercury have been riding high on a string of successes which has led to the culmination of what could be considered their strongest work yet in the EP "Blind Leading The Lifeless". Rave reviews continue to push the band in the right direction both professionally and musically and it's easy to see why when you hear these tracks.
On past releases Ice On Mercury focused more on the heavy rock side of things but with their latest EP "Blind Leading The Lifeless" the band have moved into heavier territory incorporating crunchier riffs, heavy breakdowns and some seriously great dynamics between melodic and heavy that borrows elements from such acts as Machine Head and Alice In Chains. "Little People" is a fairly good representation of a lot of that, vocalist Almir switching between Rob Flynn sounding vocal lines to some strong melodic parts. Musically it even has that 90's metal sort of vibe but it's a great track and one of the standouts for sure.
"Numbers" is another heavier song but with maybe more dynamics than it's previous counterpart which is a good thing. Rather than just going for a balls to the wall in your face vibe, the band keep some range within each song and between each track to keep it interesting and varied. The melodic parts are anthemic in nature, "General Justification" is a good example of blending that together seamlessly while keeping a really cool and loose vibe to it's atmospheric sound. The title track is probably the most melodic number here and while it opens the EP up nicely for things to come, I feel it could have worked later on in the EP just as well.
"Wash It Away" jumps into a little hardcore territory, a galloping intro kicks things off before switching into some heavy beats which makes it a potential to be a live favorite. The final track "Pantomine" grooves brilliantly and again just blends that whole melodic and heavy parts just seamlessly where it balances in all the right ways. "Blind Leading The Lifeless" is easily the best effort to date by the Adelaide rockers and could pave the way for an explosive full length album that will be sure to capture the attention of many fans.
LIVE REVIEW DEC 2 SHOW SUPPORTING SUPERHEIST AT FOWLERS LIVE ADELAIDE: "Next up was Ice on Mercury who I had managed to miss on many occasions through being somewhere else at the last minute. The last time was when they supported reverb Zakk and the Black Label Society. Tonight their high energy performance blew me away, they were immense, just spot on with stage presence, sound and song choice. On the night they released a new EP for their home audience, which you can find here, and we will be reviewing it as they were superb on the night. Finishing the night with RATM ditty called Killing in the Name of, the place went crazy and as they left the stage the audience turned as one to the bar to re-hydrate buzzing about what they had just seen"
"What can I say Ice On Mercury have really gone all out with this latest release EP. The growth musically from the previous release to this one shows great band communication. ‘Numbers’ is a true standout with some heavy hitting rhythms and words that show the message strength. All six ballsy songs show a fresh approach to the metal genre, the mixing and the overall sound of the tracks are truly high quality. I’m very much looking forward to keeping an eye on a bright future for this band"
"Hailing from South Australia, Ice On Mercury hits you with a rare blend of aggression and infectious melody from the first note on “Blind Leading The Lifeless.” The band cites Anthrax as one of their influences, which is something that you definitely hear in the song, along with shades of fellow Down Under rockers Parkway Drive, Bullet For My Valentine and Hellyeah. Like Anthrax, who excels at combining blood-pumping, in-your-face metal with humor, Ice On Mercury can rock out with the best of them without taking themselves too seriously. After I listened to this killer track, I checked out the band’s bio on Facebook and learned that they like “long walks on the beach, romantic candle-lit dinners and rocking out with ye Ol’ Cock Out!!!” Make sure to check these guys out!"
"Australia seems to be recovering its Metal scene. It’s because the country, maybe for its location, takes too long to reveal good names. I can be wrong, because I rarely hear about Australian bands in the middle of the flood of clones from 80s and 90s. But luck seems to give a smile to me sometimes, because to listen to “Blind Leading the Lifeless”, an EP from Australian quartet ICE ON MERCURY, is truly a pleasure.
Melodic and tender to reach many youngsters, but heavy and aggressive to the bone, their musical style can be defined as a Hard Rock with musical influences from FAITH NO MORE (especially on vocals), the catchy and aggressive guitar parts from ANTHRAX, the modern and aggressive Groove influences from PANTERA, and these elements are mixed with heavy parts and charming choruses. I know that this description can sound a bit weird to some puritan fans, but it is what you’ll hear on the EP, and their musical work is really very good, indeed.
The sound quality was orientated to fuse the elements of their identity, and it really reached its goal. The sound is clear and we can understand what they are playing, but when they want to be heavy and aggressive, the sound quality allows the band to do so. It’s not perfect, but it fits in what they want to do.
Unfortunately, the EP has only 6 songs. Yes, because they deserve more time, and we deserve more of their work. But for now, songs as the accessible and melodic “Blind Leading the Lifeless”, the brutal and aggressive Groove of “Little People” (very good guitar riffs are presented here, along with a melodic and catchy chorus), the grinding rhythmic parts and very good melodies of the heavy songs called “Numbers” and “General Justification” (this one is truly heavy, presenting heavy riffs, but very good melodic lines on the chorus), the fine equilibrium between of aggressive and melodic voices presented on “Wash It Away” and on “Pantomime” (this one presents a very good work from the guitars once more).
I hope these guys can come with a full-length album as soon as possible, and that they can tour out of their country, because their music is too good to be known only there"