TLDR: Occult black metal with lots of synths & guitar melodies.
Finnish black metal band IC Rex started in early 00’s and had a rather active start with three albums during the first five years, not to mention some demos. Then lights went out for many years. It felt like the story of this band was over for good.
A couple of years ago it seemed that this weird and personal entity was coming back to life. And behold: 2017 and Tulen jumalat (“Gods of Fire” in English) is out. As one can guess, it’s a theme album with gods and god-like beings from many myths and religions, those exactly who focus on fire, light and other fiery stuff. You get the idea. It’s an album that is not supposed to leave you cold, eh…
Melodic and synth-filled black metal is what Tulen jumalat is all about. But it’s not evil, aggressive or sinister, but on the contrary, more like beautiful and atmospheric album. Instead of chaos and darkness this one dives deep into 90’s-like synth stuff with warmth and nostalgia. This being said, it’s up to the listener how well – or bad – this kind of stuff is received.
Much like previous IC Rex releases, Tulen jumalat is balancing between its weaknesses and strengths. In album context this means both good and bad ideas going hand in hand together. To simplify, Tulen jumalat is a melodic black metal, and not much else.
However, it is as if sort of symphonic beauty was attempting to break through all other stuff. Certain riffs and themes are repeated quite often, which isn’t that bad an idea. Meanwhile the album’s clean vocals aren’t too shabby and some ideas would have better if not repeated so much.
Production of the album is amongh the weakest links. Guitar sound is just too weak. Other instruments balance things out a bit and at least the shrieky vocal parts are good.
Songs are between good and mediocre, leaving the album as whole on the same level. But if you’re desperately after 90’s like synth & melody-filled black metal, IC Rex might be your cup of tea. Allergics: stay the fuck out.
1. Intro – Uhrituli
8. Outro – Ikuinen musta liekki