Album review: ICE AGE – Breaking The Ice

ICE AGE - Breaking The Ice

GMR [Release date 21.10.17]

Many fans of 80s thrash may well remember all girl Swedish band Ice Age. Originally formed in Gothenburg by Sabrina Kihlstrand, Pia Nystrom, Sabrina’s sister Helena (later replaced by bassist Viktoria Lafsson), and drummer Tina Stromberg, these four girls toured Europe and played to some quite large crowds. With a power metal sound that moved towards the sound of early Metallica and Megadeth.  A number of cassette demos include Rock Solid, General Alert, Untitled and Instant Justice sold thousands.

I remember having all four cassettes, bought at a packed gig at the Shelley Arms in Nutley, East Sussex (not quite Rock City but home of many wonderful gigs). Line-up changes and management issues led to implosion.

Now reformed with two new members we finally get an album, which combines songs written for those demos and new material.

Alongside vocalist/guitarist Sabrina and bassist Viktoria are lead guitarist Linnea Landstedt (ex Tyranex) and drummer Andre Holmquist (ex Manimal).

We’re off to a strong start with the 6 minute opener Fleet Street. Some classic 80s thrash, some strong roots, and the occasional dip into guitar harmonies that nod to power metal. Hell Or Nothing is rifftastic and the vocals nod to something suitably evil.

Clever has some nice hooks, and like the rest of the album it’s full of riffs and guitar interplay. The album is short on blistering solos but there is a good blast of one here.

A blast from the past (and it is a REAL blast) is Instant Justice, intense and brutal, a quieter moment and some vocal harmony in the chorus, then it’s turned up again, your ear drums will remember this one.

Closing track A Case Of Cerebral Death has an epic feel, and suffers at running to 4 minutes – this one needs to be 6 or 7 at least. Some great guitar work over the pounding rhythms here, and a very decent guitar solo too.

Very retro, quite intense, and (this is probably my rose tinted spectacles speaking) a CD anthology of those original tapes wouldn’t go amiss either. Very enjoyable classic thrash metal.  ****

Review by Joe Geesin

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