Quintessence (Century Media) Enslain Magazine Issue #8
I was first introduced to ICS Vortex‘s vocals through its more widespread media, Dimmu Borgir. Through Dimmu, it is often limited, since he vocally takes a back seat to Shagrath. Well here, there are no limitations, and this is quite pleasing. Taking “The Presence is Ominous” for example. I wasn’t sure what I thought of this song at first… triple-layered vocals, two ranges of singing and one of growling, at the same time. This was different, yes, audibly friendly, maybe too much so? That, sadly, was my first thought. Why was I giving consideration to whether or not its commercial appeal would scare listeners away? It sure as hell shouldn’t. This song, in particular, is brilliant! Extremely musical, with high clarity focused on each piece of instrumentation, but still dark, and brutal in effect. It never fails to raise my adrenaline level. And as far as the comment on its commercialism… this album is far too extreme for widespread acceptance. Extreme, in an approachable and listenable way. If I hadn’t already fallen in love with “Quintessence” vocally, the music would have been more than enough. -- Lady Enslain