Much time and attention has been spent debating the merits of the revived thrash metal scene, spearheaded not only by a group of promising young contenders, but also the perseverance and/or reunification of some of its elder statesmen.
One of those long-running bands who have not only survived but thrived have been Germany’s own DEW-SCENTED, who this year mark their 20-year anniversary as a band and prepare to unleash their ninth studio album, Icarus.
While most bands with a couple decades under their belt would be content to avoid touring whenever possible and simply rest on their laurels, DEW-SCENTED have had a flurry of activity in order to keep breaking new ground since the
release of their last album, 2010’s Invocation. The band played headlining shows all over Europe, performed on a slew of festivals (Hellfest, Wacken, Party San, Neurotic Deathfest, Bang Your Head, Summer Breeze, Brutal Assault and
more), and supported a number of bands on European tours, including a 16-country tour with Nile and Melechesh, as well as a package with Heaven Shall Burn, As I Lay Dying and Suicide Silence, while also supporting Bolt Thrower and
Rotting Christ on a mini-tour. They also had their entire back-catalog reissued as limited-edition Digipaks by Metal Mind Productions.
Once more, the hectic schedule and demanded focus proved too much for some of the band members, leading to a drastic line-up change in late 2011. Frontman Leif Jensen reunited with longtime compatriot Marvin Vriesde (of Severe Torture
and Blo.Torch), who had stepped in as a replacement live guitarist before in tours in 1996, 2002 and 2005, as well as providing guest leads to the Issue VI album. Vriesde expressed a desire to take a greater role, and so Jensen allowed
the guitarist to step up in a major way on Icarus, assuming full songwriting duties as well as assembling the band’s new set-up. The three remaining new band members all perform together in the band I Chaos and mark a tight unit,
with some of the best musicianship ever featured in the ranks of DEW-SCENTED. Outstandingly skilled drummer Koen Herfst (also session live-drummer for Epica or Armin van Buuren), who was enlisted as a local friend by Vriesde, brought
along bassist Joost van der Graaf (previously with Creepmime and Sinister) for the Icarus sessions. Rory Hansen (coincidentally also Vriesde’s successor in Blo.Torch many years back) complemented the reinforced group’s line-up after
the album recordings as a second guitarist.
Despite being dealt a new hand, Jensen has managed once again to come up with a stunning revelation of an album and the ability of the new members to step up and inject life into the group without altering the core principles of
DEW-SCENTED is rare indeed. The thrash ideology carried on with Icarus has nearly become one of a collective, and none other than death/prog mastermind Dan Swanö (Edge Of Sanity, Bloodbath) lends his distinct voice to “Reawakening”,
while Sacrifice vocalist Rob Urbinati contributes guest vocals to “Gleaming Like Silver”, both of which couldn’t have made DEW-SCENTED’s frontman any happier, as both have been tremendous vocal influences on his aggressive style.
Furthermore Dennis Schneider (Retaliation, Final Breath) performs two guitar leads on Icarus and the formidable artwork was once again provided by Björn Goosses / Killustrations, who has been working with DEW-SCENTED since 2003’s
Impact release. Produced by Jörg Uken at Soundlodge Studios (God Dethroned, Suicidal Angels, Sinister, etc.) , who has already worked on the band’s last few albums, the 11 tracks on Icarus are sure to please both long-time supporters
but the new crop of thrash fans everywhere. DEW-SCENTED still show no sign of relenting and with Icarus at hand, they effortlessly live up to their hard-earned reputation of being one of the most determined and deadly thrash metal
acts of our times.