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Dew-Scented: Icarus

German thrashers sharpen their cutting edge

Their name remains one of the most comically inappropriate in musical history, and yet Dew-Scented are impossible to dislike. Connoisseurs of post-Haunted thrash will already worship at the Germans’ bloody altar, but the lack of one truly outstanding album has thus far precluded the band from hitting the genre’s upper tier.

Icarus may not break any new ground, but it has a swagger and oomph etched into every last riff that marks it as a step up for these hardy veterans. Whether ripping faces off at top velocity on Sworn To Obey and Storm Within or dropping down to a destructive lower tempo and cranking up the menace on the razor-strewn snail’s trail of Reawakening, this is thrash metal at the cutting edge: hard as nails and twice as likely to puncture the calloused skin of puritanical diehards.

If you demand speedfreakery with a retro twist then this state-of-the-art bombing raid may not appeal, but for the rest of us Icarus is an incisive cut above.