Heavy metal isn’t the be-all, end-all of life.
Sometimes you can judge a book by its cover, and based on the artwork of “Defender, Destroyer” and the ’80s inspired logo, one shouldn’t be surprised about the brilliant matchmaking between punk and heavy metal on Ice War‘s fourth full-length.
«I’m constantly working on new stuff. Some split releases are slowly in the making and also this project that I’ve been continuously working on since Halloween 2019, where I record a classic punk cover and upload it online once a week for an entire year» says composer and multi-instrumentalist Jo Steel, whom you may remember from our first Vinyl Sessions video feature where he promotes his death metal band, Expunged. For Ice War’s new musical chapter, Jo Steel reveals he scrapped the initial recording of the album at some point and restarted it. Why, you may ask? «I wanted this record to be much faster and aggressive than the previous ones.» These were not the only changes applied by the Canadian shredder. «Musically, “Defender, Destroyer” is aligned with ’80s speed metal. Bands that had a melodic edge but played fast. Lyrically, Ice War has always focused on Indigenous history and struggles. Lots of themes relating to the conquest of the Americas and ongoing Genocide and colonization. Admittedly for this new record, those themes have taken a back seat to more personal issues.»
It feels the brand new “Defender, Destroyer” has managed to distil and reinvigorate Jo Steel’s creative energy, proving that it doesn’t take two minds to create something as dynamic as this new offering. He also believes that new bands can still make a difference in today’s metal scene «by being open-minded and realizing that heavy metal isn’t the be-all, end-all of life. By always questioning one’s own beliefs and checking your own privilege. By being humble, generous and kind to the best of one’s abilities, and for fucks sakes; please stop calling each other ‘poseurs’!»
As to the future of Ice War, Jo Steel considers himself a realistic person: «I think Ice War has reached its goal in making underground music that’s not made to cater to current trends or anything like that. I hope to continue making records that sound fresh from the previous ones.»
“Defender, Destroyer” is out today on Fighter Records and it’s available on Black and Splatter Vinyl. Order here.