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Iconic Eye – ‘Into The Light’

posted 22 Nov 2017, 10:44 by Paul Woodward

(Independent)

Review By Woody

Into The Light is the second album from Midlands based melodic rockers Iconic Eye. The band has evolved a lot in a relatively short period of time and when comparing the debut to this it almost feels like a totally different band. Some of this is down to the change in line-up in the interim but also in a different approach to the song writing and a more dynamic presentation of their songs. Iconic Eye really have stepped it up in every department and Into the Light has a far stronger production than its predecessor which gives them a far more professional impact. Gone now is the feel of part time enthusiastic melodic rock to be replaced by a more dynamic and impressive professional sound, style and delivery. To be honest I’m a little surprised this release wasn’t snapped up by one of the genre specialist labels – I’d be even more shocked if this album didn’t indeed lead to that happening with their third album.

Into the Light is a transitional album and given the evolution of the band it’s no surprise to see some of the debut’s songs been re-recorded and whilst been familiar they are presented in the current style of the band. Iconic Eye 2.0 feature a harder edge, not aggressive but ballsier approach which suits the band well. I find the band far more exciting now, they are far more dynamic and their sound feels more unique and less formulaic than previously.

Guitarist, founder member and principal songwriter Greg Dean has shaken things up in his approach and he really plays to the strengths of his band mates this is abundantly obvious in the new songs but in the older it sees the songs given a new lease of life and having a far more dramatic impact on listeners. In new guitarist Robin Mitchard they have found a real talent as he adds a real touch of flair to the songs from the melodic guitar licks and dynamic solos to the bold and brash riffs. Betwixt Mitchard and Dean these guitar flourishes are never overkill and only serve to increase the impact and hooks of a song.

Going from male vocals to female was always going to be a notable change and Janey Gould is a real revelation with a sensational voice. Powerful and soaring with a great range, but it’s the emotiveness she displays in her delivery that really enchants me. I believe every word she sings, the emotion of every lyric she sings I feel it’s meaning. Obviously, it’s great to have catchy melodies and pitch perfect delivery but the emotional impact Janey adds gives the songs a more meaningful longer lasting impact than an unforgettable melody alone. Janey has quickly become one of my favourite singers, been a good vocalist is only half the battle been able to connect is where any singer will have lasting appeal and Janey’s style will win her fans easily.

Focusing on the re-recorded songs they have been reborn and reinvigorated and are vastly superior to the originals. ‘Better Place’ in particular benefits from a key change which makes the song far more dynamic, the original version’s chorus I found quite abrupt and disruptive, now it flows far more smoothly and has a greater impact I feel. All the songs have a far more potent impact now with an added harder edge, more emotive delivery and way more flair.

The older and newer material flows seamlessly and to those that have never heard the debut would never know which is which. Now focusing on the new era songs. ‘Am I The One’ is a bombastic rocker and a perfect way to open the album and it really showcases the bands current sound and I’m sure this will be a hit live with it’s punchy chorus. ‘These Tears Won’t Last’ is a dramatic rocker with a killer emotive chorus, great guitar lick and an unforgettable vocal melody. ‘Black Country Lady’ is a tear jerking ballad which effortlessly hits home. Lyrically powerful but also very personable which intensifies the emotional connection and impact of the song.

I love the orchestral opening to ‘Black Heart’ the strings on the song are a great hook. It has a dynamic chorus that really gets under your skin with it’s gothic tone. ‘Thanks For The Memories’ has a really catchy chorus and some great lyrics coupled with a superb vocal delivery from Janey make it a really memorable song. I really like the drive and energy of the album closer ‘Never Get Through The Night’ some soaring vocals from Janey and an unforgettable chorus makes sure the album closes out on a high.

Into The Light is a solid melodic rock album full of indelible choruses and hooks, delicious vocal melodies and stunning guitar work. It’s emotive and very easy to connect with, it has very varied lyrical subjects and personable style which evoke very different moods, from uplifting to melancholic and everything in-between! Melodic Rock fans will adore this album and based on these songs alone they should be making waves in the melodic rock scene!

Track Listing: Am I The One / You Make It / These Tears Won’t Last / Let It Rain Down / Black Country Lady / Better Place / Black Heart / All She Needed / Thanks For The Memories / Don’t Stop Me From leaving / Never Get Through The Night

Album Rating: 9/10

Woody’s Essential Track: Black Heart

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