Headless - 'Melt The Ice Away'

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Headless - 'Melt The Ice Away'

An interesting and thoroughly different kind of Rock album.

Odd – adjective: strange or unexpected. Both of which could apply to Headless' sophomore effort. Odd in the fact that 'Melt The Ice Away' answers a question that few of us would have thought to ask; namely, "what would a blend of Eclipse and Metallica, plus a drop of modern Prog, sound like?" Before we continue, "odd" doesn't necessarily mean bad (give me an unusual album to review over a wearily predictable effort any day).

Opener 'So Much Of A Bore' arrives like the lovechild of Queen at their seventies pomp and pre-'Operation Mindcrime' Queensrÿche, while the unconventional time signature immediately brings to mind Rush. Swede Göran Edman, vocalist for Yngwie Malmsteen in the early nineties, sings with a distinct accent; though thanks to the sheer wealth of brilliant post-millennial Rock emerging from Scandinavia it's less of a distraction than would've previously been the case. On 'Good Luck Resized' (what's with these song titles!?) he presides over one of the record's more straight-ahead Rockers – it's a serious grower with a sumptuous chorus.

The title track's down-tuned vocal harmonies evoke thoughts of Alice In Chains, while the shimmering guitars, courtesy of Walter Cianciusi and Dario Parente, intricately weave throughout 'Frame', especially on the Joe Satriani-like outro. 'A Senseless Roaring Machine' alternates between wistful verses and pulverising Prog-Metal bombast, while the melodically hard-charging 'Stillness Of The Heart' comes closest to the Eclipse/Metallica comparison alluded to earlier, and features some excellent guitar melodies; in particular, the muted picking underlying the chorus. Closer 'When Dreams And Past Collapse' draws stylistic comparisons to Michael C. Dragon's 'Dragon Of Transylvania', as both Rock out with a Funk-imbued strut.

Disregard the art-project cover of 'Melt The Ice Away' and the out of perspective band logo, as Headless have succeeded in delivering an interesting and thoroughly different kind of Rock album... and in 2016 what are the odds of that?

Caesar Barton

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