Sooty Limbs

(self released CD)


MARK: 96/100


Belgian Icy Winds' and ex-Obsidian skinbeater Arnaud Nicolas's solo project could be described by most as a successful mix of Anathema, Katatonia, Theatre of Tragedy in a nutshell, yet I'd prefer to more precisely define it as gothic, melancholic, melodic metal with some classic guitar solos, endowed by dreamy female Icy Winds' Fae's vocals, and several different male vocals, sometimes obscure, sometimes elegant, and on some occasions whispered like in "Blind Healing", also featuring some effects and sounds making it sound like the latest Vintersorg in a few passages.

"Terra" presents a good Iron Maiden/Saxon 6-string solo, but the best-flavoured of them is in the closing "Silky Birds", a masterpiece matched by the title-track only, though the latter proves to be quite different, enriched by a mesmerizing riff, followed by heartfelt male vocals, entwined once again with Fae's superb vocal parts.

Yeah, they're only 4 compositions, but for almost 19 minutes, so enough to judge a band for me. Needless to say that if this one-man band still hasn't found a deal after a year and a half of this bewitching self-release (actually I wouldn't believe it is if I didn't know, because the sounds are indeed professional, thanks to a digital 16-track home studio hard work, making it not envy anything to most of label releases) dated April 2001, then guys, I'd come to the conclusion that all record company managers, either big or indie, really should change their job. At last, if you add that Arnaud's recorded and played all so well, only helped by Fae's female additional vocals, you'll agree with me that this man is a genuine lover of this kind of music and not a simple drummer, a volcano of good ideas, reinforced by a strong determination. It's like to have 4 or 5 men into one, get me? Arnaud, did you sell your soul to Mephistopheles or have you found a new stimulating drug?


Nicolas Arnaud, 22 rue Reniers, 1090 Jette, Belgium