ICARUS – The Marvel World Of Icarus

I have been tempted by this album for many years, but have generally been put off by the less than enthusiastic reviews. The concept is intriguing – an album based on Marvel comic heroes, with each song based on a character from the comic. ‘Spiderman’ opens, after a short prologue, and is a hard rocking track which straight away shows why this album is not often hailed as a lost classic. The songwriting is pretty pedestrian, and the vocals are somewhat strained, although the band do their best with the material. ‘Fantastic Four’ is better, mostly because of the addition of flute to the proceedings, but the half spoken/half sung vocals still let it down. ‘Hulk’ is similar to ‘Spiderman’, with the addition of a horn section, and ‘Madame Mask’ is a ballad on which the vocals improve dramatically, hinting that perhaps someone else should have been given the job for the faster tracks. ‘Conan The Barbarian’ is given a jazz tinge, with the horns rising to the occasion, and ‘Iron Man’ is one of the better tracks, being mostly instrumental and having some good sax and guitar on it. The psychedelic ‘Silver Surfer’ is the standout track of side two, with the best vocal on the album, and some great phased guitar. Of the rest of the songs ‘Thor’ sports a particularly good guitar solo, ‘The Man Without Fear’ has some jazzy flute, and ‘Thing’s Thing’ is a funky little number. This has now come out on CD, but you would be well advised to try and hear some of it before buying, as I am afraid that the concept far outweighs its musical worth.