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Album Reviews

Iceage - Beyondless

Iceage – Beyondless

Four years after their last album release, everyone’s favourite Danish post-punk outfit return with Beyondless - a culmination of their three previous albums, in what is a far more assured, evolved and meticulous sound. Whilst New Brigade emitted a youthful take on post-punk, You're Nothing gave them a more hardcore edge, before Plowing Into The Field Of Love came along with a more subtle disposition. All three have seemingly morphed together to form a lush, dramatic LP with added instrumentation and an evolution in songwriting.

Produced by the four main band members and Nis Bysted, and recorded by Mattias Glavå at Kungsten Studios in Göteborg, Beyondless also features instrumental performances by Nils Gröndhal (violin), Kasper Tranberg (trumpet), Lars Greve (saxophones) and Morten Jessen (trombone). This has translated onto the stage, where Iceage are now a completely different six-piece beast.

Opening with ‘Hurrah’, it’s clear the Dane’s lyrical content is still as morbid as ever. “We can’t stop killing and we shouldn’t stop killing,” sings Elias Bender Rønnenfelt in what is a full frontal assault to kick off proceedings. The Sky Ferreira-featured ‘Pain Killer’ then comes along in what is one of the more flashier sounding compositions the band have ever written. It’s a mildly surprising evolution, but one that still feels natural: “Praying at the altar of your legs and feet/Your saliva is a drug so bittersweet, I’ll arrogate what’s there to take/In an evanescent embrace,” he sings in a line which perfectly illustrates the subtle melancholy we’ve been accustomed to.

However, ‘The Day the Music Dies’ still shows that they possess the full-throttle rampages as seen on previous records, only with the addition of horns and a garage rock riff. The majestic ‘Plead the Fifth’ then dials the BPM back in what is an enthralling ballad before the poignant ‘Catch It’ shows the frontman at his most delicate. This is before the four men go down a completely different avenue for the country-esque ‘Thieves Like Us’. The string section then gets a showing for the tender climax of ’Take It All’, before the gorgeous sax appears for ‘Showtime’. These two songs alone should be enough reason to catch their live show.

The title track’s cinematic and flowing guitars finish the album off and open up explorative and newly found emotive avenues for the band on their fifth album. It caps off a record that finds the band at their least dark, with joy slightly radiating from their morose framework. Beyondless retains their rich post-punk beginnings with the addition of extra character with its rich tapestry of horns, strings and refined production value. It’s more Nick Cave than Joy Division and you feel this is exactly how they wanted it to play out.

Paul Hill

Website: iceagecopenhagen.eu
Facebook: facebook.com/iceagecopenhagen



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