Asclepius is the new album from the ever-evolving and adventurous collective Iceburn, who return with their first new material in twenty years, which Southern Lord shall release on 25th June on LP and digital formats.
Much like the mythical ouroboros that appear in their music, Iceburn have come full circle, as Gentry Densley comments, “Iceburn had always been about progressing and pushing the boundaries, pushing the music ahead of ourselves so we had to work to catch up. This new record comes from a place of rediscovery of who we are deep down, a place that with all it’s challenges and comforts, ultimately feels like home.”
He continues, “In recent years Iceburn basically became four friends hanging out and working on music. After all going in different directions for so many years we found ways to embrace our earliest influences and the foundations of our musical selves. We basically cycled back to the way we made music in our heyday, our salad days, and it felt right once again.”
The rawness of Asclepius harks back to the days of their early records (such as Hephaestus), and fuses elements of metal, jazz, psychedelia, and rock with a seamless flow, monolithic riffs, swirling harmonies, and a groove that are the cornerstones of their sound.
Asclepius comprises two long-form tracks, “Healing The Ouroboros” and ‘Dahlia Rides the Firebird’, the latter is based on an old traditional Greek tune. With some members majoring in classics/philosophy, music/composition and studying ethnomusicology – classic mythology has always been a key reference point for the themes of their music. That the new record is named after the god of healing and medicine and arriving at this moment in time is coincidence, as the band comments, “It felt like we needed healing even before this pandemic hit.”
The line-up on Asclepius represents the core of Iceburn through the early formative years. Iceburn, later the Iceburn Collective, initially existed from 1990 to 2001. Later reuniting in 2007 with this current lineup again at the core. The band’s initial output slowly evolved from hardcore and metal to free improvisation and noise, The 10 year arc saw the band following their own path and becoming more and more obscure as they got deeper into unknown musical worlds. By 2000 the cycle seemed complete and Iceburn did their final tour in Europe 2001. In 2007 this early core crew reunited to play a local anniversary show focused on the earliest material. Every few years since they would get together for another ‘reunion’ until that word became more of a joke, it was clear the band was back, getting together every week, and working on new material.
ICEBURN LINE UP:
Joseph ‘Chubba’ Smith – drums, founding member of Iceburn from 1990-’93 then 2007-present
James Holder – guitar, was also a founding member from ’90-’95 and ’07 to present
Cache Tolman – bass, ’91-97 off and on, and ’07 to present
Gentry Densley – guitar and vocals, 1990 to present
Asclepius was recorded and engineered by Andy Patterson (SubRosa, INVDRS, Insect Ark, and The Otolith) a collaborator also for Gentry’s other band’s Eagle Twin and Ascend