Review of Ikon’s On the Edge of Forever

Hats off to Metropolis Records for releasing Ikon’s On the Edge of Forever. A lot of work went into this and it shows in the presentation of the album and in the soundscape Ikon has created. If you love the Sisters of Mercy, the Mission UK, Front 242, and of the Nephilm, you will love this album. In fact, there’s something for every listener in these 12 voluptuous tracks.

Track one: Trance-a-holics who adore Skinny Puppy’s sound will be spellbound by King of Terror. Ikon’s vocalist, Chris McCarter, uses the right amount of aggression to welcome the audience into an album you can put on repeat all day. If you love Andrew Eldritch’s voice, you’ll love Chris’.

If that isn’t a Mission intro on Wheels in Motion I’ll eat my shorts. I was also wondering if this was a tribute to Iggy Pop. Not only does Chris sound like Iggy, he also borrows Sometimes my heart takes second place from Iggy in Sometimes my self-respect took second place from Blah Blah Blah’s Cry for Love. I’m loving Dina Molinaro’s bass and Anthony Griffiths’ guitar work in the background. Ikon has a great sound and they have everything inside them to go right to the top and be celebrated worldwide.

Stone Frailty is a nice change of pace. Chris backs off and lets Ikon show its musical talent. There’s some seriously lovely guitar work in the background. I’m trying to think of who I can compare the gorgeous soundbath to and it keeps coming back to early Platinum Blonde, which is a wonderful thing. I could listen to these guys play forever.

When Ikon explore the industrial they are unstoppable. Distance will captivate anyone. Front 242 fans will love it for sure. Fineline is lovely and danceable, very Pet Shop Boys at the beginning but flowers into a Skinny Puppy/ Front 242 beat.

There’s a Mission/Sisters/Fields of the Nephilm influence in Apparition with the sound and singer. Ikon should try more songs like this because you can actually tell the whole band enjoys this one. I swear I can hear drummer, David Burns, and guitarists, Dino and Anthony, trying not to burst into giddy laughter because they finally get to cut loose. I kept trying to think of where I had heard this chorus before and it hit me that when Chris sings, You are my Apparition, he sings it with the exact same tone as Eldritch when he sings Heartland off the Sisters’ Some Girls Wander By Mistake album.

An Act of Fate is a bite Cure-ish in its approach with the synthesizers, but I think Ikon finally found its sound and style with this one. Chris isn’t haunted by anyone when he sings and focuses everything he can with the band playing strong beside him. This could be the new Goth anthem. Run with it, gents! Keep playing songs like this and you’ll have your own worldwide following. The band finds themselves again with Blue Snow Red Rain and they rock. Listen to those guitars! Listen to a band in its own furious glory!

Lovers of the Sisters’ older work like Train and Body and Soul will adore Ikon’s Afterlife. Again, there’s a Mission influence in the background and it all works so well.

World Beneath the Sand is music to hold someone you love to. Very nice. The ethereal meets a hypnotic drum machine and it’s a trance bath.

A few concerns: Ikon needs to take its time with its songwriting. All the synths, harmonics and drum machine programming can’t save you with lyrics like The Shallow Sea’s “Is this for real you ask/ or more of just the same/ a flicker in the night/ a world that seems so lame”. The Shallow Sea and The Wish also sound a bit slow for the album. Chris sounds bored throughout both of them and the band sounds like they’re just doing time until they get to the next song. Again, the lyrics are what weigh these songs and the band down. Other than that, two very happy thumbs up!

You can check them out at their website.

© 2002 Richard Van Camp
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