Jun 302011

While other metal blogs were posting about the release of new songs by Dream Theater and Trivium yesterday, I was listening to new songs released the same day by ICS Vortex and Malefice. Is there something wrong with me? Perhaps I need to be trepanned.

Speaking of trephination, I’m always trying to think of new analogies for skull-coring metal, and this one just came to me out of the blue. Amazing that I’ve never thought of it before, actually. I read about a shipboard trephination in one of Patrick O’Brian‘s stupendous novels (I forget which one), and it’s one of those scenes that you don’t forget. According to The Font of All Human Knowledge:

Trepanning, also known as trephination, trephining or making a burr hole, is a surgical intervention in which a hole is drilled or scraped into the human skull, exposing the dura mater [the outermost layer of the brain membrane] in order to treat health problems related to intracranial diseases.

Perfect analogy, eh? I certainly don’t think of trepanning on those extraordinarily rare occasions when I listen to Trivium or Dream Theater. But the new tracks from ICS Vortex and Malefice? Fucking skull-coring! (more after the jump . . . including the songs)


I know we have some readers for whom ICS Vortex requires no introduction, but I needed one myself. “ICS Vortex” is the metal name of Simen Hestnæs, a really tall Norwegian who was the vocalist for now-defunct avant-garde metal band Arcturus, the former bassist and back-up vocalist for Dimmu Borgir, the vocalist/bassist/guitarist for doomsters Lamented Souls, and the once and current vocalist and bassist for Borknagar.

He also heads an eponymous (love that word) band which has signed a worldwide deal with Century Media Records for the release of a debut album called Storm Seeker. It’s scheduled for release on August 22 in Europe and August 23 in North America.

And yesterday, Century Media started streaming a song from the album called “The Blackmobile”. So, I’m not a huge Borknagar fan, nor a huge Dimmu fan, and if you couldn’t guess, I’m really not all that interested in clean singing in my metal, period. But I’ve fallen somewhat under the influence of NCS scribe Andy Synn, who is a big fan of both Borknagar and Dimmu, and so I decided to listen to “Blackmobile”.

And I fucking loved it. First, ICS Vortex has a great, distinctive voice. The vocals may be clean, but they’re still full of razors. Second, the song is a full-bore electric charge of thrashy blackened guitar chords, bounding bass riffs, and muffled drum rolls, with a fucking awesome, shrieking guitar solo. I wants more of dis!

Storm Seeker will be released on August 22 in Europe and August 23 in North America. More ICS Vortex info is available via this link to their Facebook page.


The UK’s Malefice is about to disgorge their third album, Awaken the Tides, on Metal Blade. It’s scheduled for release in Europe on July 15, in the UK on July 18, and in NorthAm on August 2. I liked their last album, Dawn of Reprisal (2009), veddy much. So when I saw yesterday that Metal Blade had ushered forth a second song from that album, I smacked my chops with relish and pressed “play”.

The new song is called “Delirium”, and it follows the release of the title track last month. It was premiered by Metal Hammer yesterday, with this intriguing introduction: “Es wird langsam wieder Zeit für ein heißes Eisen aus dem Underground. Malefice könnte eines sein, denn die ziemlich modern axenden Briten gelten mit ihrem dritten Album als eine Band der Stunde. Ob AWAKEN THE TIDES wirklich so gut ist, könnte vorab der Song ‘Delirium’ zeigen, den wir euch exklusiv vorab präsentieren.”

Intriguing, eh? Certainly intrigued the fuck out of me, since I don’t speak German, but I believe it means, “these fuckin’ Brits will tear you a new rectum, and even if you were perfectly happy with the one you were born with, you’ll be asking for a third one in no time!”

Oops.  I think I just mixed my metaphors. The theme of this post was supposed to be trepanning. But fuckit, a new hole is a new hole, right? Get some “Delirium”:

Get more news about Malefice at their Facebook page (here).  And while we’re on the subject of Malefice, here’s the album’s title track:


You know, the only problem with musically-induced trepanning is the hole you’re left with. If I remember correctly, the tar who got the shipboard trepanning in that O’Brian novel had his skull-hole covered up with a coin. I might just leave mine open, to air out. Maybe some interesting things will make a home inside. Lord knows, there’s plenty of vacant room available for occupancy.


  1. Before I comment on songs, I really want to say:

    Thank fucking Christ I’m not the only (in)sane Metal Head who thinks Trivium should not exist in our realm. I saw them years ago with Gojira and Lamb of God. All they got from everyone in the crowd was booing, middle fingers, and “you suck!”.

    Due to my proggy tendencies, I do enjoy me some Dream Theater from time to time but I think they’re terribly overrated. RUSH is THE prog band.

  2. Surprisingly I really liked the clean singing in that ICS Vortex song.

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