As I have no doubt ranted about in the past I simply cannot abide imaginative genres. I understand that bands must develop, change style, create new sounds and so forth but claiming a sound as a new genre via one album or release is simply madness. Viking Metal and Pirate Metal would be my two biggest gripes but I mustn’t rant too much or I fear this may turn this into an essay on made up genres as oppose to a constructed review.
One band who seem to think they have created a new genre are Arcticcircle who claim their sound as Bush Metal with no real backing or explanation. Where Ice Meets Ocean marks the bands 4th full length release following up 2012s To Manifest. The band have a long history having formed in 1999 they have crafted their sound through Grindcore, Black Metal , Thrash Metal and so forth to finally come to this bizarre conclusion of Bush Metal, but what exactly is this genre and can it be called a genre in its own right?
Where Ice Meets Ocean cracks open with riffs that seem almost Sludge or even Doom driven, Cosmic Egg hatches before us giving us a first sight of Bush Metal, which appears to be a combination of Sludge and faster paced Doom with gruff yet tame vocals that stir no threat or fear in the ears of the listener. By the time we reach Change The Wave it becomes increasingly apparent that Bush Metal is a tag for uninspired Modern Metal exhibiting song structures that have no room for evolution or development.
Coming back to the length of the songs Arcticcircle seem to be stuck in their old Grindcore ways, songs cut it close to the three minute mark with very little reason, if the songs were longer they could be so much more. Negativity aside these guys can play, the drumming is consistent and the riffs in Madness Powder and Into One are at least palatable, yet once again there is little to no vast technical ability which whilst fine doesn’t quite fit the style Arcticcircle seem to be portraying.
I could continue but I fear my down trodden opinions will descend into the ramblings of a disgruntled Metal nerd. I will say one last thing though, if this is Bush Metal then count me out, this is nothing new, nothing inspiring and certainly nothing exciting. Do I hate this album? Absolutely not, in fact I would listen to it again, it’s totally inoffensive generic Modern Metal and I guess that is what Bush Metal is.
(3/10 George Caley)