Splendid evidence of post metal with great psychic and emotional impact, this one exhibited by When Icarus Falls. Formed in 2007 in that of Lausanne, the Helvetians arrive with Aegean to their second record, after the 2009 debut Over The Frozen Seas; the album, on a conceptual level, is openly inspired by the work of psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, who described the five different stages of reaction to the diagnosis of a terminal illness by the individual. The music proposed by the five Swiss proves to be the perfect wrapping for a lyrical content with such dramatic tones: a post-hardcore always poised between unhealthy melodies and the despair well synthesized by Diego Mediano’s heartbreaking vocals. Aegean is the long crossing of a hostile and changing sea, now reassuring in its deceptive phases of calm, now capable of storms as sudden as they are devastating. In these waters our boat brilliantly keeps afloat where many in the past have miserably foundered, thanks to a songwriting capable of constantly keeping the emotional component of a sound in the foreground, from which Cult Of Luna influences emerge, in which the sorrowful and melancholic mood of Wolves In The Throne Room is incorporated. The post-metal of When Icarus Falls is more physical and less cerebral than that offered by most of its counterpart bands, and this allows the entire work to enjoy an overall robustness that at certain junctures even makes the sense of psychic devastation that is evoked epic. Rejection, anger, bargaining, depression and finally resignation, all of these feelings are mercilessly eviscerated in the course of Aegean, leaving no rest for the listener, who will experience an enthralling experience of rare emotional intensity. A splendid record, further embellished by the terrifying ten minutes of the concluding Hades, which with its doom atmospheres closes the tormented existential journey that is the subject of the tale; it is a pity that the saturation of the record market, at all levels, makes a work of such stature (released, moreover, last September) virtually ignored in our parts. In our own small way, let us try to remedy this injustice.
2012 – Headstrong Music