Tuesday, 20 January 2015

ICE BLUE - Back To The Light (2015)

Genre - Melodic Rock / AOR
Label -
Track listing:
01. The Light Of This World
02. For Loving You
03. Don't Stop Dreaming
04. Tears In The Dark
05. Give Me Action
06. Don't You Break My Heart
07. Turn On The Night
08. Always Be In My Mind
09. Never Surrender
10. Secret Time
11. Far Away From You

At the beginning of the century, the was a flourishing AOR movement in Spain with bands like Airless, 91 Suite, Eden Lost, Nexx, Hardreams o Elyte releasing very good albums.
In the lot there was also ICE BLUE which debut is still regarded by fans of the genre as one of the finest from the era. Now after 12 years Ice Blue is back with the second effort "Back To The Light".
The only remaining member from the original line-up is Miguel Bravo (guitar, backing vocals) accompanied by young bandmates making clear that AOR is still alive and kicking in the blood of new generation of musicians.
Female singer Elena Cintora owns a really sweet vocal timbre, Guillermo Gutierrez delivers a varied arsenal of keyboards / pianos and the rhythm section is solid, all orchestrated by Bravo's polished riffs and solos.
While the sound of Ice Blue 2015 is much more Melodic Rock oriented than before, the AOR melodies still spring throughout.
"Back To The Light" offers a bunch of lovely crafted (with a strong appreciation of details) melodic songs.
Opener "The Light Of This World" is plenty of keys, punctuated guitar riffs and a catchy chorus. The vocal phrasing is suave and Bravo's solo - as on the entire record - really interesting.
Other highlights include the mid-tempo Melodic Rock of "For Loving You", the rocking, broken "Give Me Action" and the moving "Never Surrender".
More smooth are the modern AOR of "Don't Stop Dreaming", "Don't You Break My Heart" and "Far Away From You".
Of course there's nice ballads in "Always Be In My Mind", and the best, called "Tears In The Dark", orchestrated with lots of synths and where Cintora showcases her sugar-coated vocals.
Smooth Euro Melodic Rock / modern AOR is what delivers Ice Blue on their 2nd effort "Back To The Light", a highly enjoyable collection of carefully crafted and performed tunes.
A singer that at places reminds me of Julianna Regan from All About Eve, lots of keyboard textures and a guitar player with a great feeling are the order of the day on "Back To The Light", wrapped by a warm production.
Very Recommended.
Rating - 9/10

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