Dew-Scented (Germany): Icarus
In the case of Dew-Scented, there is a songwriting approach concerned with how to make thrash songs imaginative and distinct, while maintaining a high level of energy. In other words, there are lots of galloping riffs that are the bread and butter of thrash metal. These riffs are, of course, indicative of the mosh and headbang features of said genre. Essentially, the thrash fanatic will recognize the guitar sound and feel it as comforting and familiar, immediately.
However, Dew-Scented is not a thrash band like Overkill or Death Angel, in the sense of a 100% traditional thrash band. Actually, the sound of Dew-Scented incorporates two basic components found in death metal, namely, the growl-scream style of vocals; and the use of blasting speed. In particular, they use well-placed bursts of blasting speed in select parts of their songs. Thus, this is not a total blasting speed attack, but a precision method in songs. The vocals, by the way, are not gruff nor guttural nor anything low, but are rather of the “painful scream” style, and are aggressive.
As a result, they manage to bridge the gap between thrash and death in a relatively smooth way. It is fast, headbanging, no-nonsense guitar work, with growled vocals that feature the element of brutality.
Interestingly, thinking about it, Dew-Scented is something of a gem. With this sound, this band can appeal to thrash and death metal fans, in a serious way. In substantial forms, they take out the punk/hardcore/silly elements of thrash, and re-energize thrash by with the brutality of death metal. That means, in turn, that unlike some death metal, one can really hear the guitar work, the riffs are very upfront, and make things intelligible to both genres.
Dew-Scented zealots tend to consider their 2003 album “Impact” as their best. I wish not to argue nor to compare. I will say this, however, this is a very strong album, perfect for those into the harder forms of thrash.
Songs like “Sworn to Obey,” “Thrown to the Lions” and “The Fall of Man” have riffs that fly at your face. The energy, the feel of these songs is simply awesome. With the selective blasting in place and the bits of fast melody, and fast solos, it’s a band that is doing it up right.
Lest you think that they only have speed to offer, check out “Reawakening” for some of the heaviest, most brutal vocals and moments on the whole album. Here they explore a midpaced feel, with uptempo moments, giving the vocalist a chance to be more brutal, where things get a bit more death metal, shall we say.
To sum up: don’t dismiss this album as just “another thrash” album. It is not. It is substantially different from pure thrash, with more aggression, more heaviness and brutality. Clearly, the band has the objective of balancing the riff-o-rama and clarity of the thrash sound, but with a higher level of energy and aggression found in death metal. Combined with strong songs, the band has succeeded and created a quality album from start to finish.