14/01/2004

taste it :

I don't belong

  1. I don't belong

  2. Born of the Shallow

  3. Drift

  4. Drained

  5. The Spoil of the Low

 

a screenshot from Iconoclast new official website

 

Marc Anthony H.  Bertone (ALL the tracks are recorded by Bertone in one take)

 

ICONOCLAST was founded mid 1993 by Marc Anthony H. Bertone. Endless line-up changes hindered the band of recognition as a pioneering doom/gothic/industrial manifesto. 
After several demos and compilations, the band released it's first record in 1997 entitled "AUREVANA:BLOODWORKS AND MOONSHINE". The band also broke up that year due to personal and artistic differences. 
Marc Anthony H. Bertone decided to move on and take over the songwriting process, intent on penning heartfelt and brutally honest reflections of his bleak vision. Now the band has 3 members. Marc Anthony Bertone (vocals, drums, keyboards, programming), Bobby Tufino (lead and rhythm guitars, bass), Jeff storm (lead and rhythm guitars).

 

ICONOCLAST: "The irrelevant God"             www.iconoclastmusic.net 

Review  by dalia "gryphon_spirit" di giacomo____    


Gothic rock/metal influenced by Paradise Lost with a good atmospheric background and persuading ideas. in spite of certain flaws and rawness, you listen to it more and more, thanks to its subtle doom death tension and the good music: addictive effect.

 

Who tells that USA cannot give birth to a Gothic with European taste? Iconoclast is (i say "is" cause The irrilevant God is the mirror of the period where the previous line up broke up and Bertone was left alone with his project: now the band is in full force with a new line up of 3 members) the eveidence of the contrary , and though the European origins of Mark Anthony Bertone are of course a trade-mark, Iconoclast music is anyway very fascinating due to the American substratum that is able  to  offer a sensibility for darkness: imagine Paradise Lost of the One Second era with a more decise primitivity, less glossy, with much of indipendent and personal touch, and with a certain broken doom progression and temperament !  Nevertheless i think that Iconoclast can gather attention not only among the Paradise Lost-ian ranks but also among all those who like Cemetary, Sundown, the Vision Bleak of the "Still Waters" 'era, and , very important factor, also among who like Doom Death . The fact that makes this music particular is that you smell out  the Doom -Death roots: Death is a seal that leaves its trace, and , whether you like it or not, who comes from Death school is imo on a natural superior niveau. The good side is that, even if during this period of reflection about religion , soul and society , Bertone is so much influenced by PL, this thing doesn't disturb you at all , and you never think he is a copy of them, fully enjoying all songs. Electronic effects are present but well measured. Iconoclast never exaggerate in any single point, letting betray a genuine force. And we should never forget how much Bertone did counted mainly on his own forces only. I must say that many details should have been refined and the general mixing of the instruments should have been improved, but the strange thing is that, inspite of all this, and inspite of a certain harshness this CD is totally enjoyable cause there is nothing angular,  and with its pro and contra can be listened to, in a fluency way, without skipping any track. The melodic structure and some effects are so persuading that you remain enchained,  at the face of all perplexities. And maybe this harshness is even searched and evoked. No false beauty dwells "chez Bertone", neither musical hypocrisy. The temperament is protagonist, together with a good musical construction. 

The piano and the strong melody of the intro of I don't belong (the title gonna be changed to "King Misery"), which develops into an almost pounding mid tempo that goes on in a subtle crescendo, is class. A good opener which has the pride of feeling with a calibrated solemnity and vocals that here emerge agreeable with a mighty aura. In few words you end up listening more and more  this I don't belong , and the more you find it a bit primitive, the more you listen to it, enthralled by its doom accents and all ingredients that a Gothic metal should have. A natural born catchiness will cause an incredible addictive effect

Born of the Shallow is another pounding lively rhythmed track with gothic atmosphere, and with a winning melody, varied percussions, spoiled a bit by the vocals that sound really not so nice. A pity, cause the track is another one that will not forgive: addictive effect.

In Drift we find well calibrated vocals, enriched by good effects, a lead guitar accompanying the music, a rhythmic that fully reminds  of PL and lots of nostalgy and melancholy.

Drained is a sad acoustic track with raw, rough guitars and strong vocals that give the impression of the echo, though once again resulting a bit "un-nice", but nevertheless Bertone can sing and even mightly if he wants. You get used to his timbre, that at least is not adulterated. The weird reverb was recorded near  an abandoned church where dopefiends and crack addicts hang out/squat! Bertone picked that not only cause of the religious inclinations, but it represents true misery which is addiction/poverty!!



The Spoil of the Low is imo the song that could be even compared with the Paradise Lost of SOL era. An intro (and outro too) driven a bit by an haunting repetitive propeller, sweetened with some melodic   guitars chords, propeller that explodes finally into a melodic outburst full of feeling

The irrilevant God is a work dated 2002 and now Iconoclast, that are finally a band again,  are in full activity preparing their new album , re-discovering their Doom-Death sound, with the new line-up: "Judaswhore" is the title of the  mini-lp that  will appear early this year, to be followed by an as-of-yet untitled full length , and really i look forward to listening to the new material. So i imagine that Bertone is even more mature and fortified by his new band mates. If they refine only just a bit  the technique and mixing , underlining the Doom side, they can result absolutely ACE!! .  Vocals can only become better cause anyway they are strong and round: in some points they are totally agreeable, while in some other moments they don't reach the better appreciation: i suggest to Marc Bertone to make them only just a bit darker and lower, or ...who knows?... maybe they will be no longer clean in their new work. Though i could easily ask Marc, I really don't want to know, cause i fully want to let  surprise myself by the new Iconoclast 2004 . I can only say that i'm very satisfied with The Irrilevant God: the production is quite good and the sound is more than positive: this is to say, it is a CD to have, and to be listened to, beside the products coming from renowned labels: you hardly notice the difference. Like mentioned before, inspite of a certain harshness and primitivity, you cannot do otherwise that "falling  in love" with it, including it in your usual playlist: and, for me, this is not a minus point, on the contrary a great ability, based of very good musical vision. So let's Iconoclast enter the empyrean of GryphonMetal with a good rating. If you are a Gothic-Doom metal/rocker, Iconoclast is absolutely one of the good new sparks you are looking for. Like Marc Anthony Bertone says "This band has been through so much shit; nothing can break us now..." 

rating:  8/10 

dalia di giacomo    

ICONOCLAST now

 

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