Ictus Vis Inertiae

The most striking thing about hard alt-rockers Ictus is Sarah Jacobs’ vocals treading somewhere between distain, yearning, dark emotional detachment and the likes of Garbage’s Shirley Manson. They bring a certain completion to the hard, dissident, rock-scapes that the band aspires to. With songs like "Gestation,” "Systematic Solvency,” and "Aphyxia,” there is no disguising the fact that Ictus intend to rock heavy. For the most part, Vis Inertiae, their debut release, does just that, even if at times it does feel a bit rough around the edges. Their music occasionally adopts a grunge feel, while at other moments, produces cuts that call to mind Evanescence and other similarly dark and heavy, female-fronted bands. Vis Inertiae also boasts one standout melancholy and morbid instrumental track, "The Victim.” The quartet, who originally formed in Windsor, ON, just happen to be made up of very learned professionals (in virtually every field but music) and have everything to prove here. Ictus frequently favour complex musical arrangements and noisescape-style dissidence over more pop flavoured hooks and melodies. This works to great effect on approximately two-thirds of the album, making their debut release a relatively strong disc that holds the promise of many great things from this foursome in the future. (Independent)