Training Icarus - 'Stand Aside' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     February 03, 2014    
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This is one Icarus that could fly high.

One band I expect big things from is Training Icarus. I first came across the London based Female Fronted group at last year's Ravenheart Festival and was impressed with their unusual sound. TI confesses to having an unconventional range of influences from Nightwish to Maiden to Jean Michael Jarre. That showing left me as excitable as a sale shopper on Boxing Day and I've waited eagerly for their debut 'Stand Aside'.

It's tough to define their sound as it sits somewhere between Melodic and Heavy Metal but there's more to it than that. For starters they use keyboards/synth instead of arrangements which means they also have a retro aspect that harks back to 80s big sounding Metal. An orchestral and soprano filled clone of Nightwish they are not. 'Stand' erupts in aggressive style with the title track and its attitude filled lyrics and thick chugging central riff. One song that has always stood out from day one is the dark and brooding 'Nightmares'. The verse guitar work flits between a driven sound and this deep, imposing crunch, but come the catchy chorus Martin Eldon and the rhythm section open up the throttle a notch.

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'Now Or Never' takes me back to Metal's glory days with shining keys, a galloping riff, soaring solos and an infectious chorus. TI also shows they're not afraid to be ambitious with 'Judgement Day' and 'Set Them Straight' both lasting almost ten minutes although there's an argument they could have been a little shorter and lost nothing. There's one track in particular that I have listened to constantly and that's 'No Chance For Life'. It opens with pulsating synth and piano along with Leigh Turner's haunting vocals reminding me of the opening of 'Dry County'. When the drums, guitar and bass thunder into life it made me shiver. The solos from Eldon along with Turner's wailed lyrics are emotionally charged and they too gave me goose bumps.

I had high hopes for 'Stand...' and I'm pleased it's lived up to those expectations. 'Stand...' is a gratifying album that I can listen too regardless of my mood. Due to its varied influences it should find favour with a host of fans whether they're into Symphonic, Melodic, Female Fronted or traditional Heavy Metal. Turner has grown in confidence since their demo recording and she continues to develop her own rocky style that reminds me a little of Annette Olzon. Top marks however must go to Eldon who's a revelation on guitar and also happens to be the songwriter as well for which he deserves extra brownie points for creating such a glorious sound.

Given the potential shown by 'Stand...' this is one Icarus that could fly high.

Dave Scott

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