Friday Mix selection 3/25/11
- Vice Magazine
Top 10 of 2011
- The Sky's Gone Out
While many bands today try and take their influences from previous
eras and modernize them, most fail, whereas Black Ice actually succeeds
in paying tribute to the artists that came before them yet creating
their own unique niche...
unique sound design and well done production makes for an enjoyable
This is a well done album that is something of a standout among the
piles of stuff in the review bin.
- ReGen Magazine
A sound that we just haven't heard enough the last years.
From the moment the laser hits the disc you'll hear nine tracks that will let you relive the finest postpunk-moments
from bands like Penetration, Siouxsie & The Banshees or even Ghostdance. Due to the dark vocals from Miss Kel (love that name!) you'll tend to categorize this as goth and in a way it
is but if this album (which already is their third one) would have been released in, say 1985, we're convinced
that we might have used words like "an almost classic". So yes, check 'em out!
- Peekaboo Magazine
Haunting vocals and a band of disjointed beats, ... a great live band.
- SF Gate
Wer die Band schon kennt, kann sich am Idealfall von Stiltreue bei
gleichzeitiger Weiterentwicklung erfreuen, so aufregend Black Ice wir
so aufregend wie eine grandiose, Neuentdeckung, Ungewöhnlicher
No-Wave-Post-Punk ohne direktes Vorbild, gleichzeitig bedrohlich wie
einnehmend-gefühlvoll, ein Stück weit elektronischer als früher,
vielleicht auch ein klein wenig gesetzter, aber immer unvergleichlich
und schlichtweg genial. Was manchmal klingt wie Einzelhaft,
klastrophobisch, einnsam und isollert, pendelt umgehend zurück au bei
aller Schreckens eines vergessen Verlieses -perverser Geborheit.
- Gothic Magazine
Riassumendo: matura costruzione di plumbee atmosfere, meticolosa
tessitura di stili, egregia esposizione dei concetti in liriche mai
- Erba Della Strega
I am a cow who only listens to hardcore. This record is so stupid becase[sic] it is not hardcore.
Le Trout, unpaid contributor, razorcake
This release does not disappoint...
sounds a lot like the Black Ice we know and love,
dark and mysterious.
This release incorporates more experimental sounds into the mix
especially with track four "Block Ice Machine (Parts 1 & 2)"
an instrumental which ... could serve as the newest soundtrack
to Metropolis. Well worth the wait.
#1 New release. "Signals" #1 top track for
May /June '07
All spikes and angles, Black Ice play a variety of avant-rock as bone-cold
as winter, but with a strange appeal that will pull in even the most
enthusiastic devotees of warmth and comfort. The scritch-scratch of
guitar, the scrape of violin, the thrum and thunk of bass encircle the
vocals of Miss Kel, who declaims the words with an implacable froideur.
She makes Siouxsie sound as cheery as Charlotte Church, but while the
band clearly aren't in the business of making their sound conventionally
accessible, it works rather splendidly. 'In The Dark' is a folk-punk
lament, the bass and drums marching forward like a New Orleans funeral
procession as the violin and voice spiral upwards like smoke in frosty
air. 'In Ruins' kicks up the pace a bit, as the bass rattles like dry
bones. 'Elements Of Chance' staggers along like a hurdy-gurdy held together
by sticky tape; 'Hypnagognia' drifts ever-closer, like fog over winter
ground, all atmosphere and icicles. In a way, Black Ice signal their
musical area a bit too obviously with their band name - but then, if
they were called Yellow Sunshine we probably wouldn't pay attention
in the first place, would we? Uncompromising and implacable, Black Ice
convincingly demonstrate that bleak is good.
In March of 2007, Black Ice released “Myopia”, perhaps their
most assured and confident work yet. Incorporating a larger array of
players and sounds, “Myopia” is as dark and unnerving as ever,
but it also represents one of their most accessible collections of song.
Tracks like the brilliant, lamenting, “In the Dark”show a
band willing to trust its own songwriting, rather than hide behind layers
of art-damaged noise (as some of their peers have been accused of).
“Myopia” is yet another triumph for Black Ice, and one hopes
that this is only the beginning in a longer exploration of “dark”
music that doesn’t insult your intelligence, or bore you to death.
Certainly one of the best, and overlooked, releases this year.
Vocalist Miss Kel is like a pseudo-gothic
dream goddess to me... what a haunting angelic voice ...reminds me of
a more laid back Switchblade Symphony when they were actually good (aka
Serpentine Gallery era). Miss Kel's voice does a great deal to match
and surpass that of Tina Root's. ... There's no soft spot to this album
at all, though some of the music may fool you into thinking that it’s
more of a candy Goth style, it really is rather harsh for a female fronted
band and thus has a great deal of emotion behind it...I really found
Black Ice's Myopia to be one of the more enjoyable gothic rock USA releases
in a LONG time. Very few artists in our country have proved their worth
to me in this realm in the past half decade or so and I'm not sure there
will be more after this....Black Ice certainly does give hope to acts
that are still pushing their art from this realm. It’s reminded
to these groups to always be inventive and use new ideas towards traditional
structures. You obviously can't coherently call yourself "gothic
rock" unless your sound envelopes the music in some way shape or
form, but you can always manipulate that sound greatly to fit your personality,
and Black Ice has done this successfully. If you're looking for a new
and fresh sounding gothic rock release, this is your best bet. Don't
look at Metropolis, don't look at Projekt ... start with this first
Gothic Rock offering from Hungry Eye Records in New York.
4 STARS. A caterwauling slice
of gothic art-rock, Black Ice's Myopia is a fever-fueled nightmare of
banshee vocals, dissonant guitars, and graveyard atmospheres...fans
of the less commercial strains of modern deathrock will devour this
To call Black Ice a death rock or, god forbid, a “goth” band
seems a wee bit too pat ...
some early Savage Republic-type industrial thrashin...some cabaret,
a dab of psychedelia and more than a little Bay Area art damage ...bleak
in sound...but smart enough to hard-wire enough catchiness into their
sound and fury to encourage repeated listens..
The music of Black Ice consists
of staccato drums, conjuring vocals, all sorts of subtly often processed
sounds packaged into a sinister yet also quite theatrical sound in which
batcave and deathrock influences are not very distant. Add the postpunk
guitarsound and sometimes suprisingly catchy bass licks to that and
you can figure out what the music of Black Ice sounds like. The lyrics
are intelligent, the music keeps entertaining you well and this comes
from a special musical versatile group in this genre.
Easily one of the best albums
this year. -razorcake
Excellent, the best release of the year. -www.sanctuary.ch
Something really special, CD of the month. -www.spoton.de
Truly Spectacular.. From the moment those tribal drums kick in, I knew
I was in heaven, Miss Kel's vocals move from a dry intonation to a vocal
chord-rending shriek, as the guitars press forward, seeking to smother
you in a shambolic, nervous din. It's vicious, and it has a bite that
you'll still be feeling long after the last track.
the press release has it right,
describing this music as an 'unnerving din' but they missed the 'verging
on classic' status, because from a garish 'The Stillness' onwards the
scathing, brutal lyrics belting out of the angular music, with its often
staccato drum attack is vicious, in an underfed, dangerous way. Short,
jittery songs with jaundiced guitar, snappy bass and synth icicles,
they're so effectively harsh with their post-punk wrath that the oddly
catchy title track and the scathing 'Elixer' are like a massively '82
era punk band gone Goth, with consistently brilliant lyrics as the icing
on an impressively foul cake. The ugliness is strangely beautiful, the
music as ravaged as it is ravishing.
This is special.
- mick mercer
Combining death rock’s morbid theatrical catharsis and post-punk’s
defiantly bleak structure, Black Ice have emerged as one of the San
Francisco Bay Area’s most formatively impressive new artists.
Miss Kel’s vehement vociferations spew forth scornful accusations
on “The Stillness” and unleash violent black bile outbreaks
“My Eyes Hurt” is without question the most peculiar and penetratingly
outstanding selection on Terrible Birds... Terrible Birds has been sprung
from its rot iron cage so check the record and respect the Ice!
Black Ice is artistically the
most interesting contemporary deathrock/post-punk band around. . . ‘Elixer’,
is an instant hit.
Black Ice offer a great mix of creepy, slow-paced tracks with faster,
more detached songs such as “Fingers,” the album’s closer...Terrible
Birds is a shadowy and rich experience, proving this group to be another
instance of intriguing dark music coming out of the San Francisco area..
If you are a fan of Phantom Limbs
and The Vanishing then Black Ice is just the treat.
- zero magazine
Melding haunting synth sounds with stark guitar playing and icy cold
bass playing it all comes together to a fine mix straddling the line
or better yet blending the lines of post-punk with deathrock. I hope
they're in it for the long haul.
On its debut 10-inch the band fulfills its previous four-song demo's
promise of florid poetry and languid drama with new songs that reveal
teeth -- not delicate, razor-sharp eyeteeth for piercing flesh, but
big, broad molars for grinding bones. With more pounds of pressure per
cubic inch, Black Ice is clearly coming of age, and it's a very black
- silke tudor, sf weekly
The new material on the E.P., "Broken Pieces", "Invisible", and "Eve
E." is all very much in the vein of classic Deathrock, big heavy tribal
drums, galloping guitar lines, throbbing bass, everything you love about
your favorite classic deathrock/batcave artists. The previously released
demo tracks "Severed", "Rat", and "No Excuse" all represent the creepier
more ethereal side of their sound. When using the term ethereal to describe
these songs, try not to picture anything remotely pastoral, or dreamlike.
It's all a bit more unnerving than your standard Darkwave bands.
For those who like it nice and dark. . . Stevenson Sedgwick and Skot
B revel in the gloom, making music with piano wire, samples, broken
organ, wineglasses and other screwy objects.
A truly foreboding 4 song demo, on which the seductive drone of Miss
Kel's voice hovers over vibrating piano wire, trilling wineglasses,
pouring water, echoing pipes, broken organs, friendless violins, and
brooding bass guitars. - silke tudor,
Black Ice create a slow and spacious deathrock sound not unlike those
experimental moments at the opening of "Bela Lugoi's Dead." Evocative
and patient, Black Ice are in league with the monsters under your bed.
They entrance you. They misplace your car keys. They steal your socks.
- professor jef, starvox.net
a Neoclassical-Neofolky-Dark-Wave or something like that, really difficult
to describe. Somewhere between Skin/Swans, Sixth Comm/Mother Destruction,
Siouxsie And The Banshees, Gitane Demone, Faith And The Muse and it
definetly has a certain Gothic-Feeling. The band uses a lot of samples,
archaic rhythms and has a very arty feeling. The voice of Miss Kel is
very intensive and captivating and I wonder, if this wouldn´t be a fascinating
live experience... get something very spezial (sic) here! If you like
bands, whose name describe perfectly their music, you are right here!
- back again (germany)
Like a childs nightmare, Black Ice conjures images of creepy little
things that live in your attic, under your bed, and in your head. It's
an atmosphere of discomfort. All four songs work in cohesion, and Miss
Kel's vocals come at you like that of a forsaken porcelain doll that's
been rotting away in your basement covered in cobwebs for the past 50
- rick a. mortis, deathrock nation