ICONS OF INDUSTRY: Spatial Decibels

Icons of Industry 
Spatial Decibels 

Icons of Industry, though not new to music, is certainly new to this writer. The prog rock collective is less of a band and more of a project with a revolving cast, with the primary songwriter(s) based in Austin, TX. I dive into this review with a small amount of trepidation, as I am not known for my prowess in progressive rock or metal. However, after sampling just two tracks from this EP, I was instantly interested in covering this release. Read on to find out why! 

“Silver Shores” begins the EP by tiptoeing in: piano and synth strings introduce what is to come. But what that is, I’m not sure yet—will it be rock or some type of electronica? Even when the vocals start, it’s not entirely sure what will follow. The drums and some other atmospheric layers are added, but this one never shifts out of low gear. It does, however, set the tone for the album thematically and serves as a nice album opener. 

“The Wheels Will Turn” features a really nice guitar riff that reminds me of some 70s hard rock with progressive undertones. One thing that is clear by now is that Icons of Industry are definitely not trying to write hit singles so much as create some interesting art rock. Somewhere after the 3:00 mark, the song turns a bit harder and offers a blistering guitar solo before settling into a big chorus with some nice vocal harmonies and accompanying under-layer of instrumentation. 

“Flames of Change” almost has a slight Latin feel with the percussion and piano with some hints at Spanish melodies. Again we have lots of harmonies on this one. “Heavy Locust” opens with a killer flute riff that is fantastic (words I never expected to write in a hard rock review). The jazzy run is then joined with a heavy guitar riff, probably the heaviest one we’ve heard so far. This is really a standout song. Along with their now-signature vocal harmonies, we also have lots of layers of instrumentation—adding to the flute and guitar riffs we also have some tasty violins to add to the mix. Lyrically the song packs a punch too: 

Heavy locust up in the sky 
Sent down to bring you low 
Heavy locust is feeding me 
Sent down to satisfy 

The song juxtaposes the Old Testament symbol of the locust as a frequent tool of judgement (also picked up in Revelation), with the food of John the Baptist in the New Testament. Thus, the message of God’s judgment and his merciful feeding of his people are one in the same—a theme we see so often throughout the canon of Scripture. This is the strongest track so far. 

“Eloquence” is the EP closer, and features heavy use of piano and strings to accompany the harmonized vocals. Like the opener, this track never shifts out of low gear, but it does offer some distinct movements within the 6+ minute song, and offers some beautiful melodies by the accomplished vocalist(s), providing some great tools for personal reflection and whimsy. 

As I said, progressive rock is not normally my forte. I’m much more at home with  extreme metal or hardcore punk. Nonetheless this is a fantastic release and I’d love to  hear more from these guys. Look for the digital EP on Bandcamp at https://iconsofindustry.bandcamp.com/album/spatial-decibels.

Rating: 4.5/5 

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