“The Silver Scream” by Ice Nine Kills (Album Review)

Logan Fortner

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Metalcore, post-hardcore, and heavy metal band Ice Nine Kills has released their 5th studio album just in time for the Halloween season. Ice Nine Kills first formed in 2002 and while they may not have the biggest fanbase, they definitely have a loyal one. They are currently signed to Fearless Records and while personally I haven’t been their biggest fan, I can safely say that this record caught my attention very quickly. Even though this band has gone through several lineup changes over the years, it is safe to say that they’ve finally managed to smooth things out.

Ice Nine Kills has a tendency of sampling other people’s material in their music, and this time around they have taken inspiration from several famous horror franchises. As someone who absolutely loves horror movies and heavy metal, I just couldn’t wait for this release. Something that I really enjoyed about this album are the lyrics that bring with it a dark and ominous tone. Obviously, in most horror films there is a killer and a victim, and I have to say that I really liked how some songs were from the point of view of the victim(s) while others would be from the killer’s point of view.

Lead singer Spencer Charnas has an amazing voice and while his screams are awesome and really get your adrenaline going, his clean vocals are just as good if not better. His voice has a very catchy and charismatic feel to it that just gets certain songs like “A Grave Mistake” stuck in your head. The guitars are another thing worth noting as they can go from a throttling like sound to very melodic. While this album is very heavy overall, there also some other elements that you should consider digging into no matter what your music taste is.

Hearing some of my favorite horror movies such as “A Nightmare On Elm Street”, “Friday the 13th”, “IT”, sampled into musical form was a very interesting, but great experience. They take several different angles when approaching this record and I am very happy to see the genuine interest in the material they’re taking from. It doesn’t feel like they’re just doing a horror movie themed album just to do it. The breakdowns that occur throughout this album feel so smooth and not very forced like some other metalcore bands try to do at times. These breakdowns even sometimes are able to completely steal the show. There are a few tracks that in my opinion don’t really do enough or match the horror movie it’s supposed to be based off of, but it is a very rare occurrence and it really shows in the full spirit of this album.

This album opens with the song “The American Nightmare” and if you can’t tell just by the title of the song, it is based off of “A Nightmare On Elm Street.” Towards the beginning of the song there are some very hard hitting hypnotizing guitar riffs causing a sleep inducing trance reminiscent of what to avoid in the movies and this is a regular occurrence throughout this song. The chorus to this song is another one on this album that will very quickly get stuck in your head possibly even after one listen as Spencer Charnas just has a way he goes about singing that just makes you want to sing along.

Next up is “Thank God It’s Friday” and this song tells the story of Jason Voorhees from the “Friday the 13th” franchise. I feel this track is clearly in the view of the victim(s) and is even supposed to make you feel sympathetic for Jason as the song opens with what seems to be campers singing “He drowned in all our sins. He drowned in our mistakes.”

The track after Jason’s is based off of the “Halloween” franchise and is titled “Stabbing In The Dark.” The way that sound bites get incorporated and when you are able to hear police talking about how there’s a killer on the loose, it definitely leaves you on the edge of your seat and entertains you almost just like a movie would.

Things do get a bit generic on the tracks “Savages” which is based on “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and “Freak Flag” which is inspired by “The Devil’s Rejects.” While I don’t necessarily think these tracks are bad, I just don’t think they stand out as much as some of the others.

But then we come back to “The Jig Is Up” inspired by SAW, is another great song that has a very good build up to its chorus. The pre-chorus / bridge features a Jigsaw impersonation that really makes this song what it is in my opinion.

My personal favorite song on this album has to be “A Grave Mistake” which is based on “The Crow.” This is a very iconic movie that definitely has cult status at this point and if you don’t already know, the main actor in this movie actually died in a freak accident on set while filming. This song not only captures the essence of what happened but also the essence of the crow. It has a very spirited chorus but it also feels very dramatic and adds a lot of tension to this song.

Finally, the album closes with the track “IT Is The End” and I don’t think that I can say that I ever thought that I’d be hearing someone singing as Pennywise the dancing clown. This song really hits a home-run and is one of the best songs on this album not only because of the heaviness of it, but also the perspective you are given of not knowing what form IT is going to take. I really do love the energy that is given to this song.

I honestly love almost all of this album, from “Rocking The Boat” the “Jaws” inspired track, which features former member Jeremy Schwartz, to “The American Nightmare” to “IT Is The End” there is so much sprinkled in throughout this entire album. Whether you’re a horror movie fan or a heavy music fan, I would definitely suggest that you at least give this album a chance.

 

“The Silver Scream”

Fearless Records

Release: 10/5/18

**** Rating: 4/5

Favorite Tracks: A Grave Mistake, Thank God It’s Friday, IT Is The End, The American Nightmare, The Jig Is Up, Stabbing In The Dark, Rocking The Boat

Least Favorite Tracks: Savages, Freak Flag

 

Album Tracklisting:

1. The American Nightmare (The Nightmare on Elm Street)

2.Thank God It’s Friday (Friday the 13th)

3. Stabbing in the Dark (Halloween)

4. Savages (Texas Chainsaw Massacre)

5. The Jig is Up (Saw)

6. A Grave Mistake (The Crow)

7. Rocking the Boat (Jaws)

8. Enjoy Your Slay (The Shining)

9. Freak Flag (The Devil’s Rejects)

10. The World in your Hands (Edward Scissorhands)

11. Merry Axe-Mas (Silent Night, Deadly Night)

12. Love Bites (An American Werewolf in London)

13. IT is the end (IT)

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“The Silver Scream” by Ice Nine Kills (Album Review)