When Icarus Falls - Over the Frozen Seas (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

When Icarus Falls

Over the Frozen Seas (2009)

Get a Life!

When Icarus Falls produce a half-hour-long EP (or what they call a mini-album these days, I guess) in Over the Frozen Seas, providing a warm, brooding medium ground between the more sparkly atmospheres of post-rock and the heavier, mechanical clank of instrumetal. In turn, Frozen Seas is an intensely thorough -- yet only mildly compelling -- end-result work.

Opener "Black Tree" opens with a familiar soundscape of ominous chords and drifting measures, somewhere between Envy and Cult of Luna (admitted influences). After some light, muttered singing, throaty roars erupt in the background nearly three minutes in here, but it's weird, because there's no real change in the music to match it. Instead, a light crescendo forms, but that's about it. Consequently, the vocals don't really have the added effect that may have been intended.

The middle song, the title track, makes a fittingly dramatic use of some piano, and has some more clear, understandable singing; it also tries the same bellowing screams trick, even lower in the mix and below a very light rush of sound, to the same level of success. Closer "They Created Lies Which Everyone Uses" largely operates like those songs too, though no vocals really come in until halfway through.

If you enjoy post-rock EPs that offer uniform-length tracks, Over the Frozen Seas is up your alley -- each of these three songs hover between 10:09 and 10:31. I think the band's ideas could be a little more realized or effective and certain elements fleshed out a bit, but this definitely isn't bad.

Black Tree [clip]
Over the Frozen Seas [clip]