Technically progressive art

The Australian rock/metal scene in 2012 feels like a propulsive nucleus of energy and ambition that is exploding from every corner of the continent, and now Sydney’s Blue Mountains emits the deafening buzz that is Red Bee.

This is possibly the most enormous sonic blast I have heard from a three-piece in quite some time, guitarist/vocalist Daniel Silk offering up big slabs of Slayer-like riffs whilst his unique breed of vocals (a touch of Frenzal Rhomb’s playfulness blended with Cog’s anthemic, yet soulful renderings) wails tunefully over the powerful spine of rhythm that is Jim Silk’s bass-slap and Ian Dunn’s drum assault.

‘Road Kill’ makes no apologies for its aural assault as it opens proceedings; and make no mistake, what would initially seem like an album full of short, sharp, punchy tracks is actually, some technically progressive art merely masquerading as such. Check out the instrumental epic that is ‘Angelo’s School of Arms’ complete with a clean melodic passage at its centre. Personal favourite ‘Poetic Equation’ evokes Faith No More at their peak, whilst ‘Thin Red Line’, ‘Through to You’ and ‘10-4’ have an emotional punch that causes me to reach for the repeat button.

Ictus is an outstanding debut that feels like it has been crafted with the Midas Touch, the production is monstrous, the instrumentation is tight and the songs are wickedly infectious and catchy. All self-respecting metal/rock fans should add this album to their collection immediately – it’s a keeper!

1. Road Kill
2. Dark Daze
3. Deathbed Memory
4. Confess, Conform, Collapse
5. 10-4
6. Angelo’s School of Arms
7. Thin Red Line
8. Poetic Equation
9. Through To You
10. Hell & Fire