The most satisfying thing about being a music fan is when something comes at you from out of nowhere and just blows you away. ICS Vortex’s Storm Seeker did that to me recently. This album just floored me. Being a casual Dimmu Borgir fan, I was familiar with Vortex already but Storm Seeker is so much more than Dimmu.
Storm Seeker is one of those albums that transcends metal. Is it heavy? Sure, but it’s also something else. The thunderous apocalypse that opener “The Blackmobile” heralds may remind you of Borgir and Borknagar (along with the fact that the band consists of former and current members of both those bands as well as members of Susperia, Tristania, and Mayhem) but make no mistake this is no black metal album.
Enter “Odin’s Tree”. This is where the tide turns and you’ll see ICS Vortex’s vision come to fruition. This song, easily my favorite, is heavy but oh so melodic amidst cymbal crashes and driving guitars racing to a beautiful climax which truly highlights ICS Vortex’s glorious voice which is ultimately the secret weapon of Storm Seeker. If you’re unsure of the overall direction here by now, look no further than “Skoal!”. With organs blaring and a wailing guitar, the song is a declaration of musical intent, plain and simple.
This album not only gets better the more you listen to it but it also gets better the deeper you get into it. Tell me an album in the Itunes age that can hold your attention for a full 10-12 tracks. By the tenth track, ICS Vortex drops “Flakeskipper” on you and refreshes your aural senses yet again. If you can’t hear the similarities between Vortex and Maynard James Keenan on this one then I don’t think we’re listening to the same album.
Stylistically, this album is much more prog than metal. There’s elements of Dream Theater, early Amorphis, Tool, and even Rush throughout and it works so well for the finished product that you will (hopefully) soon hold in your hands. For anyone out there that thinks black metal is one dimensional, I offer you Storm Seeker and the musicianship of the players involved who have created something refreshing in the world of music outside of their respective genre.
Storm Seeker is available on August 23rd. Pre-order yours here now.