Icon – Night Of The Crime [1985]

PhotobucketIf I would have to take one album from the 80s with me to an island, this one would really be in the running for my favourite album of the 80s… The second outing from Phoenix five-piece Icon, “Night Of The Crime” is without doubt one of the greatest melodic hard rock albums ever made and Icon is one of the most underrated hard rock bands of all time in my opinion. Unfortunately this band never received the proper promotion from their record company as they should have, and I am sure that if the record company have spent more time and money in order to properly display Icon, they should have been a mega hit band among the metal and hard rock fans.
This is a melodic hard rock album as opposed to a straight ahead metal album like the debut. I found it refreshing that they had the guts to branch out by adding keyboards, which at that time wasn’t a real popular thing for a hard rock band to do. Compared with the self-titled debut, “Night Of The Crime” sounded a lot “slicker” due to the production of Eddie Kramer (Kiss, Hendrix, Beatles) and mixing by Ron Nevison (UFO, Heart, Kiss). These guys were a cut above the rest in their songwriting abilities, set off by excellent vocals and the incredible twin guitar work of Wexler and Aquilino. Keyboards are tastefully added to this album, giving it a more commercial overall sound than the bands first album, creating a charming dramatic, melodic feeling and never overshadowing the guitars. Awseome choruses are a high point and these songs will get stuck in your head if you’re anything like me.
A strong opener was selected with “Naked Eyes” and opens the appetite for more songs. An undeniably brilliant song with powerful keys, pretty nifty melodic riffage and great vocals. Simply great. “Missing”, is just as good as the first track, a bit more mellow in the ballad style with more minor keyboards use. “Danger Callin’” is furious and very catchy. A little harder to the point and makes Icon goes to a border strip between hard rock and heavy metal. The guitar riffs are very memorable with a great chorus line, followed by the solid rocker “Shot at my Heart” with more great guitar work and emotional vocals. “Out for Blood” is another high point, this time a bit more heavy and furious. Starts out as an instrumental with a well crafted guitar solo intro, leading to a killer riff that kicks into pure energy and fire starting excitement. Riffage here is great, but of course given the conventions of this style, is mixed down, in favour of a concentration on the superb vocal melodies and an awesome guitar solo reminding me George Lynch style. The capacity that songs offer continued with the stomping metal “Raise the Hammer” with slow paced pounding beat, great guitar wizardly solos and catchy chorus, followed by the sublime heartfelt ballad “Frozen Tears’ where the harmony between vocals, keyboards and guitars is something beyond description. “Whites of their Eyes”, is my personal anthem. I was blown away with the first listen. A beast of a song with cutting edge guitar work and forceful vocals make it a unique song. It’s difficult to find words to describe this song. This is one you must hear in any case. The words are also unnecessary for the next song “Hungry for Love”. The band goes out of hand and to be even more specific, your 80s metal/hard rock collection is not complete without this song! The album closing with the powerful “Rock my Radio”, an arena rock anthem attempt, with more involving guitar work and a catchy, harmony chorus you will love.
Many hard rock lovers of the 80s consider this album as a classic in its genre and I can only agree. Not too much I can say about this album except that worth every money you spend on it. You’ll be rockin it in your radio all night long. A MUST HAVE!!!

Band Members
Dan Wexler – Guitar, synth
Stephen Clifford – Vocals
John Aquilino – Guitar
Tracy Wallach – Bass guitar
Pat Dixon – Drums

Tracks
1. Naked Eyes
2. Missing
3. Danger Callin’
4. Shot at my Heart
5. Out for Blood
6. Raise the Hammer
7. Frozen Tears
8. Whites of their Eyes
9. Hungry for Love
10. Rock my Radio

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Rating: 9.7/10 (3 votes cast)
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Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
Icon - Night Of The Crime [1985], 9.7 out of 10 based on 3 ratings