It may come as a surprise to many metal fans that one of the most successful all female thrash bands of the last 30 years has never actually released an album.
Ice Age, from Gothenburg, Sweden, was formed in January 1985 by Sabrina Kihlstrand and Pia Nyström, who met through an ad in a music store. The band lineup was completed with Sabrina’s sister, Helena, and Tina Strömberg behind the drums.
During the band’s early stages they were more power metal oriented, and this sound fed through their first demo ‘Rock Solid,’ (which was the band’s original short lived name before changing to Ice Age – something more akin with their origins in the cold winters of Scandinavia.)
There then came the first of the band’s lineup changes when Helena passed over her bass duties to Viktoria Larsson at the end of 1986.
Their sound gradually became much more raw, which distanced them from the more standard metal riffs of Iron Maiden and Queensryche, and instead towards the thrash style of early Megadeth and Metallica.
Ice Age played very technical thrash, which can be heard in their demos ‘General Alert’ (1987) and another that was untitled (1988).
The band toured several countries and played many festivals, including the well known Open Air in Lamone, Switzerland, in front of 5000 people. They also played the legendary Marquee Club in London.
The four Swedes gradually gained more and more popularity, which surged after the recording of their 1989 demo, ‘Instant Justice.’
Midway through their next tour came a major problem – vocalist Kihlstrand left the band due to irreconcilable problems with the band’s then manager.
Curiously, it wasn’t one but two new members that replaced her: Italian guitarist Isabella Fronzoni, and American vocalist, Debbie Gunn. This line-up existed for all of six months before, yet again, problems with the bands then manager caused too many problems to repair.
Finally, Ice Age split in 1990 after having sold thousands of copies of their demos.
Over the years, interest from fans worldwide has remained, and although Ice Age may have split long ago, they have not been forgotten. Some years ago, The Big 4 show (comprising Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax) at Ullevi Stadium in Gothenburg – and broadcast on Swedish national TV – was even dedicated to Ice Age.
In 2014, a new era for the band began and in January of 2015 Ice Age hit the stage for the first time in 25 years at the Gothenburg Sound festival to resounding success.
Jump to 2016, with a strong new line up, which, aside from original members Sabrina Kihlstrand and Viktori Larsson, adds lead guitarist Linnea Landstedt (from Tyranex) and André Holmqvist (Manimal) on drums, the new reinvigorated Ice Age finally started recording their debut album, Breaking the Ice.
02-Hell Or Nothing
06-Breaking The Ice
09-No Need To Bleed
10-A Case Of Cerebral Death
The material on Breaking the Ice is particularly personal to Kuhlstrand, with “Clever” being a prime example. “I’ve felt very hurt and let down by a good friend of mine. It was nothing that happened overnight but it built up gradually to a point where I finally had enough of this person’s behavior towards me. This song is about the betrayal of a friend and this person in particular,” the frontwoman says. With “Hell or Nothing,“ she addresses the band’s original manager. “An evil manipulative person who managed to ruin the band in such a short period of time,” she recalls. Then with the album’s title track, “it makes a statement that it’s never too late to do what you really want to do. As for me… that was to start playing and enjoying music again after 25 years!”
An album that many thought they would never hear has arrived after three long decades! Five newly re-recorded songs from their classic 80’s demos and 5 brand new songs. As the saying goes, “patience is a virtue.”
ICE AGE IS:
Sabrina Kihlstrand – Lead vocals
Linnea Landstedt – Guitars
Viktoria Larsson – Bass
Andre Holmqvist – Drums