AMN Reviews

AMN Reviews: Iceberg – Final Thaw (2022; Astral Spirits)

I’ve had this album in hand for the better part of a year and finally got down to listening to it recently. The result is…regret that I waited so long. Final Thaw is a really nice EP-length offering of free improv and weirdo folk that should have gotten more noise upon release.

Consisting of Jayson Gerycz on drums and percussion, Dylan Baldi on sax, and John Kolodij guitar, this trio puts forward two long tracks with similar patterns of a slow start followed by an all-out crescendo.

Baldi’s playing on God Moves on the Water is plaintive at first with Gerycz contributing aleatoric percussion over a bassy drone. Kolodij joins on electric guitar as the tempo increases and the group gets noisier, busier, and goes outside. By its climax at the 12-minute mark, Iceberg is engaging in a free-form skronk fest with wild sax, distorted speed-picked guitar, and densely-packed drumming.

Harland Wolff Blues also sets off with a deliberately-paced and slightly ominous keyboard theme (either keyboards are uncredited or Kolodij runs his guitar through effects). Kolodij strums chords while Baldi softly blows an iconic, if not anthemic, melody to quiet percussion. This evolves into a gritty sax solo and more assertive chording as Gerycz turns up the heat. The instruments combine into a heady mix of noise walls and angular soloing.