Review: Icebreaker - Final Days Society

Icebreaker Cover.jpg

Album: Icebreaker

Artist: Final Days Society

Released: 1 July 2015

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I don’t know what it is about Sweden, but so far I’ve never met a Swedish band I didn’t like. Final Days Society continue that trend.

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Icebreaker is an appropriate title for this record. It moves at its own pace, building momentum to get where it needs to go, but its purpose was never to get there at a blazing speed. From the intro of “Drowner” and into the second track, “Drifter”, airy guitar swells, sparse percussion, and falsetto vocals eventually meet their destination after a climax complete with a horns section. I am still a sucker for horns.

The title track, “Icebreaker” is the longest track on the album at just over ten minutes, and is also the loudest track on the record. It has this distinction, but more importantly demonstrates an aspect of the record’s sound that took until a second listen before I could identify why it was so different. Throughout the whole record, and this song especially, there is a flow; an uncommonly graceful shift between sections of dream pop, shoegaze, and post-rock. The transitions of each song feel so natural and effortless you don’t realize how much time has passed. So while a song may be eight or ten minutes, it doesn’t feel like it.

The final track, “Debris”, which the band have released a strangely mesmerizing music video for, is a perfect of example of this space. It doesn’t burn your house down with noise, it doesn’t pummel you to death before leaving the room. It floats along gently, and while it does get loud toward the end, that’s not what you’ll take away from it.

Final Days Society have released an album for those who appreciate a lighter touch, favoring delicate sections of growth up through the silence as opposed to a more heavy-handed approach. That’s not to say the album doesn’t get heavy in places, such as the second to last track, “At peace, at least”, but its overall feel puts the emphasis on the space between sections with crushing walls of guitars. The album has a lot of room to breathe, which is nice to hear, given that that room is something many bands seem to forget about.

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Icebreaker is available now through Final Days Society’s Bandcamp for €5.

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