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Icon And The Black Roses - S/T - 2004 Reviewed by: Ken Pierce

Track Listing
1. Black Rose
2. Endless
3. Crucify Your Love
4. Dreams And Silver Tears
5. Angel
6. Remember
7. Sweetest Emptiness Of Love
8. Black Cage
9. Who Do You Hurt Now
10. Running Up That Hill
11. Set Me On Fire
12. Diamond Baby
I heard about this band in a twist of chance. I was led to them by some random clickings around the web while doing some music research and there they were. Icon and The Black Roses from Portugal. The band was on the verge of releasing their self-titled debut release on Dark Wings Records (a division of SPV Records). A quick email introduction to the lead singer and I was able to facilitate a copy for myself to review for you all. I have to say how impressed I am already as so many of the songs flow seamlessly through the disc. People who are fans of H.I.M. will most certainly enjoy this band for there are some musical themes that go in the same direction. However, this is no clone of His Infernal Majesty as the band will be quick to advise you of. Johnny Icon’s brooding and dark voice lend more to the likes of Depeche Mode and even a bit of Type-O-Negative (though not as deep as Pete Steele). It is an enjoyable solidly produced piece of brooding Gothic Rock. The differences in the bands music make it something that fans of Mode or Cure as well as similar darker fare have offered us. It was interesting to me to see how much this influence seemed to prevail in a band coming out of Portugal.

I have to say that I have recommended this piece to several people already and each of them has ordered it. The bands website is up and running and you can even hear some samples of the music before you buy it. Trust me you will not regret the chance to jump on board to something new before many other people. If you like H.I.M. and the 69 Eyes as well as some of the darker new wave bands of the 80’s and 90’s (Cure, Mode, etc) this will appeal to you. The production is solid and every instrument comes through crisp and clear. Joining Johnny Icon who provides the Vocals and Guitars, we have Sebastian Noir: Guitars, Sean Rose: Bass guitars, Mike Thorne: Drums and Adam Nox: on Keyboards. While I have stressed how much I dig the CD, the first 5 tracks seem to keep a steady rotation on my CD Changer. My very favorites have to be “Black Rose”, “Crucify Your Love” and “Angel”. The ballady “Who Do You Hurt Now” is nice for a mellow change and there are a couple of heavier faster numbers like “Black Cage” and “Running Up That Hill” run closer to the lines of heavy metal.

I strongly recommend this CD for those that enjoy the darker Goth style and the music of bands referenced in this review. Also, for those who are willing to take a chance on a new band and want to get in on the ground floor on something. I think it is enjoyable enough to take that chance. Also, if you write to the band, you will most probably get a response from Johnny Icon himself. Sadly I was not able to comment on the booklet or packaging, as my copy did not include it. When I followed up on that with Johnny he explained that I was sent his own personal copy and it did not have it. Now how is that for commitment? Not too bad I say. Go to www.amazon.com and order this CD or better yet the band site. Make sure you let him know that KP brought them to your attention. Peace out.

Rating: 8

Official Website: www.iconandtheblackroses.com

--Ken Pierce 06.11.04
Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: ICON AND THE BLACK ROSES
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Icon And The Black RosesIcon And The Black Roses
2004
Ken Pierce6/11/2004


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