Asclepius is the new album from Iceburn, who return with their first new material in twenty years, with a Southern Lord release on 25th June 2021 including LP and digital formats.
The rawness of Asclepius harks back to the days of their early records (such as Hephaestus), and fuses elements of metal, jazz, psychedelia, and rock with monolithic riffs, swirling harmonies, and a groove that are the cornerstones of their sound.
Asclepius comprises two long-form tracks, “Healing The Ouroboros” and ‘Dahlia Rides the Firebird’, the latter is based on an old traditional Greek tune. With some members majoring in classics/philosophy, music/composition and studying ethnomusicology – classic mythology has always been a key reference point for the themes of their music. That the new record is named after the god of healing and medicine and arriving at this moment in time is coincidence, as the band comments, “It felt like we needed healing even before this pandemic hit.”
The line-up on Asclepius represents the core of the band through the early formative years. Iceburn, later the Iceburn Collective, initially existed from 1990 to 2001. Later reuniting in 2007 with the current line-up again at the core. The band’s initial output slowly evolved from hardcore and metal to free improvisation and noise, The 10 year arc saw the band following their own path and becoming more and more obscure as they got deeper into unknown musical worlds. By 2000 the cycle seemed complete and they did their final tour in Europe 2001. In 2007 this early line-up reunited to play a local anniversary show focused on the earliest material. Every few years since they would get together for another ‘reunion’ until that word became more of a joke, it was clear the band was back, getting together every week, and working on new material.
ICEBURN LINE UP:
Joseph ‘Chubba’ Smith – drums, founding member of Iceburn from 1990-’93 then 2007-present
James Holder – guitar, was also a founding member from ’90-’95 and ’07 to present
Cache Tolman – bass, ’91-97 off and on, and ’07 to present
Gentry Densley – guitar and vocals, 1990 to present
Asclepius was recorded and engineered by Andy Patterson (SubRosa, INVDRS, Insect Ark, and The Otolith) a collaborator also for Gentry’s other band’s Eagle Twin and Ascend.
This is an unforgiving pair of slabs of riff heavy music which touches on Crimson type structures circa Larks Tongue and Red. Structurally complex but also wonderfully cathartic in its’ attack, Holder and Densley’s twin guitar duals are worth the price of admission along. Trying to pigeon hole this into a specific genre is foolish as it covers a wide arc of styles and delivery methods. Put it this way you will not be bored.
Pre-order the album here.
Edited versions of both tracks will be featured on Aural Delights 447 and Overflow 72