A rather engaging band from Arizona were Icon, who sent heads a-spinning around the 1983/84 timeframe with an excellent full-on debut metal album.
Written by: gdmonline
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Stephen Clifford – vocals * John Aquilino – guitars * Dan Wexler – guitars * Tracy Wallach – bass * Pat Dixon – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 (Rock On) Through The Night * 02 Killer Machine * 03 On Your Feet * 04 World War * 05 Hot Desert Night * 06 Under My Gun * 07 Iconoclast * 08 Rock ‘n’ Roll Maniac * 09 I’m Alive * 10 It’s Up To You
A rather engaging band from Arizona were Icon, who sent heads a-spinning around the 1983/84 timeframe with an excellent full-on debut metal album. You have to give Icon some credit. The album cover depicting some god-like entity in the shape of a tempest or whirlwind, spewing forth a burst of energy. Much of the same can be said of Icon’s music, clean energetic metal which helped typify the burgeoning metal scene within the USA.
The band were given a push from the head of Shrapnel Records, Mike Varney. In fact, he produced this album, the results enough to bring Capitol Records to the table, with a young bonafide act on their roster getting ready to duel with other young hopefuls on display in some of the recognised HM powerhouses of Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York.
Icon’s sound was a youthful display of power, melding Judas Priest HM crunch in their own US flavoured style. Surely with song-titles like ‘Killer Machine’ and ‘Hot Desert Night’ the Priest connection is immediately MADE. Elsewhere, the powerful introduction that is ‘Rock On Through The Night’ was enough for metallers and melodic rockers to sit up and take notice.
Indeed, the review in the UK Sounds Magazine at the time, made this band better known in Europe rather than in the USA! The duel axework of Aquilino and Wexler provide the shred factor, similar to rivals Derek Frigo and Josh Ramos from the early lineup of Le Mans, though with more precision and less OTT antics from that pair!
Listen to the sonic affair that is ‘Under My Gun’, an absolute monster of a track bar-none! Not far behind is the commercial metal heard on ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Maniac’, the chugga-chugga guitarwork sends this track off the rails. The band tail off with a power ballad of sorts. ‘It’s Up To You’. Personally, I don’t think ballads are their thing, something they explored further on in their career, with mixed results unfortunately.
For most of this site’s pink and fluffy brigade, Icon really started to appeal with their next album ‘Night Of The Crime’, a more commercialised brand of metal with melodic rock leanings. However, one cannot go past their career history without first stopping off and acknowledging this mammoth slice of 80’s US metal, all the more important considering it’s their debut.
On Your Feet
Entire Album (Select Tracks)