Fireworks

Ice Blue - 'Back To The Light' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/b4/cb/5f/Ice-Blue-Back-to-the-Light-25-1443727938.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     October 01, 2015    
 
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I'm sure they'd be extremely grateful if you could now support them – I am! Recommended.

Unfortunately, due this glorious magazine's bi-monthly publication*, plus the myriad of bands trying desperately to get themselves noticed, there will always be some albums that surface some time (especially outside of their homeland) after their release date; Spain's Ice Blue is one such example.

The phrase "better late than never" is rather apt here as this is a very creditable AOR/Melodic Rock album and one worthy of your attention. Originating from Zaragoza in late 2000, the band released their self-titled debut in 2002 – I must confess I've not heard the album, however, the snippets of information I could gather were more than positive in their views and, if it is half as good as this sophomore opus (released back in January 2015), then I certainly will endeavour to obtain a copy... eventually.

It seems IB have always been a five-piece group but after several line-up changes (the most dramatic of which was the transformation to, and implementation of, Female-Fronted vocals in the eye-pleasing shape of Elena Cintora), they have now honed their talents to fashion a succulent, keyboard driven AOR feast with a side salad of unpretentious guitar and a healthy drizzle of effervescent rhythm.

Think back a decade or so to bands like Karma, Tour De Force, Talk Of The Town et al and you'll begin to get the picture. Cintora is wonderfully supported by Miguel Bravo (guitars, backing vocals), Guillermo Gutierrez (keys), Jose Simancas (bass) and Raul Alcubierre (drums) and from start to finish they produce one delight after another.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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The lead single 'The Light Of This World' gets thing off to an impressive start; swirling keys, dynamic guitar interaction, gently throbbing rhythmic accompaniment and the sultry tones of Cintora (her accented delivery is noticeable, but certainly not disparaging). 'For Loving You', 'Don't Stop Dreaming', 'Don't You Break My Heart' and 'Turn On The Night' all follow in similar fashion – each one making you think 'I'm sure I recognise this'!

Yes, it's that type of album, where every melody and chorus is instantaneous in grabbing your attention and, by the second spin, you'll feel as though you've known these songs for years. This is potentially the album's "Achilles Heel" as its very safe AOR by numbers, but when it's this good... do we really dare to nitpick? 'Give Me Action' portrays the band's edgier side whilst 'Tears In The Dark', 'Always Be In My Mind' and 'Far Away From You' demonstrates a softer, slightly stripped-back temperament.

Ice Blue have in the past supported Dare, Harem Scarem, 91 Suite and Nexx (whatever happened to them?) to name but four, and I'm sure they'd be extremely grateful if you could now support them – I am! Recommended.

Dave Crompton

* this review was published in Fireworks Magazine #71

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