For Post-Punk/Gothic band, Iceage’s third effort they have once again decided to change up their sound going for a lot more of a clean approach to their sound. Though they still sound abrasive like on their first two albums the production is a lot more clean allowing more diverse instrumentation including acoustic backdrops, piano, strings, horns and some interesting use of percussion. Because of this it makes of the of the songs like ‘How Many’ and ‘On My Fingers’ sound somewhat similar to Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds. Lead singer Elias Bender Rønnenfelt’s voice is still definitely an acquired taste, as he brings the most desperate sounding vocals possible to the table, often sounding like a howl. The difference is that this time around he finds the time to bring some surprisingly catchy melodies to the album, such as the only song under 3 minutes on the album ‘Abundant Living’.
Though they have upped their game massively in terms of instrumentation, and you have to praise the fact that this album is about 20 minutes than their previous two efforts, they do get lost a little bit lost along the way. There are a few songs that feel like they drag on for longer than they should such as the song ‘Stay’, which although isn’t that long, becomes extremely uninteresting extremely quick. There are also a few moments on this album where it really feels like it loses coherency a bit – a minor price that they have paid for experimenting more with instrumentation. Nit-picking aside, this album does a great job of inserting some newer and fresh sounds into a genre that has been done to death. Their brand of brutality has never sounded so organised.