Sunday, July 24, 2011

Ice Dragon – The Sorrowful Sun (2011)

When I started this blog a few months ago, its purpose was to talk about bands that are not getting as much exposure as they deserve. Today’s post is about one such band, Ice Dragon.

Ice Dragon is a heavy metal band from Boston, Massachusetts which plays a brand of metal that harkens back to the formative years of heavy metal, before it was largely dominated by screamed vocals and breakneck tempos. The music Ice Dragon plays is reminiscent of early Black Sabbath, with sluggish, down-tuned guitarwork and mournful vocals not unlike those of young Ozzy Osbourne. The band just released their second album, The Sorrowful Sun, the follow up to last year’s The Burl, The Earth, The Aether (which is up for download at their bandcamp page, name your price). As the band’s name suggests, many of their songs are about fantasy topics such as space travel and dragon slaying, but unlike other bands singing about said topics, they do not sound strained and contrived. That they have achieved this is a triumph in itself, a feat certainly helped by well-crafted lyrics and the genuinely anguished vocals of Ron Rochondo. The standout track of their new album is called Poseidon's Grasp, which relates the tale of a band of warriors questing to exterminate a dragon that has terrorized their homeland (and while I would not blame you for being skeptical after hearing such a synopsis, I think any skepticism will be quickly dispelled after experiencing the song reach its climax).

You can listen to the album in its entirety on their bandcamp page. Even if you do not count yourself as a fan of metal, I would urge you to give it a listen. And if you like it, a digital download of the album is available for a very reasonable $5. And perhaps more exciting is the limited pressing of the album to cassette, which they are offering with a lyric scroll (that’s right, a scroll!), storage pouch, and back patch (for the jean jacket you always wanted to get and fill with patches from obscure bands that no one ever heard of!). And certainly check out their earlier album, which can be had for the low price of nothing if you desire.


  1. The Sorrowful Sun is pretty neat album; I have been listening to it for most of the day. Poseidon's Grasp is pretty rad; it sort of makes me think of Beowulf. The imagery is great with the buzz of guitar distortion all throughout. A good discovery!

  2. I will try to look into this band, however I am disturbed by the increasing trend of releases on cassette tape. Are hipsters buying their first car and all it has is a cassette player?

  3. Hardcore bands and metal bands still sometimes release stuff on cassette, but I would not really say bands from other genres are really doing it. I think one of the reasons it is done is that it is really cheap to make cassettes. But, mainly, I think it is kind of to go back to the roots of the genre. Back in the early eighties, when hardcore punk and metal were forming, the tape trading scene was big. People would send tapes between one another to hear about new bands. People would put advertisements in fan produced magazines about metal/punk, listing their addresses and interests in music. That way people would get one another’s’ addresses, and could send stuff to one another. Kind of like penpals, I guess, but sending cassettes. That is how word about bands from all over the place got to people, as the internet wasn't around, and music magazines didn't cover that sort of music.