Anyone could be forgiven for quickly switching off an album that opens with a couplet like "Betake yourself beyond this way/And pass the roads that meet the sky." But try to be patient; although the lyrics only get worse (here's another random selection: "Absence is my religion/Foray my words do speak"), the voice that delivers them is attractive enough, and Ikon's thick-textured sound is a constant delight. The two guitars jangle and crunch with a pleasing combination of clarity and density, while bassist Dan Molinaro generates much of the melodic interest while staying solidly locked in with drummer David Burns. Singer Chris McCarter has a pleasant voice that is nicely mixed, sometimes close and up front, sometimes slightly distant and echoey in a way that shows off his rich baritone range. On "Stone Frailty" (sigh), he manages to sell a barely interesting melody by virtue of passion and an inspired arrangement; "The Wish" brings in subtle keyboards to nice effect, and McCarter again manages to surmount the considerable obstacle of laughably awful lyrics. This is an album that brings considerable pleasure despite significant flaws.
On the Edge of Forever Review
by Rick Anderson