Sunday, November 14, 2010

Classic melodic rock CD of the week - Icon

By Stephen Kasenda

ICON "Icon" (1982)

Icon was unlucky to have to compete with giants like Dokken or Motley Crue back in the early 80s and, thanks to a lack of huge promotion from the label, Icon was pretty much estranged from the herd, if not forgotten. I consider them as among the second wave of glam metal, bringing up classic heavy metal hooks with some melodic touches…some of us call it melodic metal. To simplify things, imagine a combination of early Dokken, Keel, WASP, and Scorpions, and that would be a good definition of Icon's music.

There are four superb tracks inside. "Killer Machine" has a stampeding rhythm with a gorgeous verse/chorus composition. "On Your Feet" is the real deal of heavy metal and the solo guitar is just stunning. "World War" is melodic and heavy at the same time. "Under My Gun" is a blast - the roaring guitars behind Clifford's furious vocal is perfectly blended - this is Icon at their best. Now, the reason why they can't compete with Crue or Dokken is because the rest of the tracks aren’t as strong as these four. Take a look at "Hot Desert Night", "Iconoclast", or "It's Up To You", they're totally disposable. Luckily, the opening track, "Through The Night" and "Rock And Roll Maniac" are accessible and quite good.

I'd say Icon's debut might not be a really important release, but for hardcore fans of glam, melodic metal, or even traditional heavy metal, this band has something good to offer. The production isn't satisfying and that's a shame - if they release a remastered version with an upgrade in audio quality, the disc would be rated better. But for the music alone, I guess 4-stars is acceptable.

Read more of Stephen’s features at MetalMusicArchives.