Like me, I know a lot of fans were bummed when mastermind Travis Roach decided to abandon his stoner rock project Ice Howl back in 2017. After the successful release of their debut Crack the Earth, it seemed like the band was gaining momentum, and with a new EP announced for 2017, fans were anxious to hear what was coming next from the Bloomington outfit. We were part of the hype when we premiered the track “Strength of the Brave” off of it way back in 2017. Now two years later, Travis has decided to reignite the project and finish their follow-up EP, and we caught up with him recently to find out the reason for the project’s hiatus.
“What I thought was the end of Ice Howl in 2017 was very bittersweet. It’s weird because I’m the one who created the project/band, but yet I felt the need to end it. To be honest…I felt like it was a flook. I had received a lot of praise for Crack the Earth, and I was extremely proud of what I had managed to accomplish. But here is the hard truth. Anxiety and low self-esteem got the best of me. I got so wrapped up in trying to create a follow-up that was on par or better than Crack the Earth that I got obsessed about it. I managed to create one EP’s worth of material, and I recorded one song, and that was Strength of the Brave. Ironically, the meaning of that song was to overcome the world. Nothing satisfied me outside of that track. Two other huge factors were the fact that I had children during this time, and I simply didn’t have the resources. These factors killed Ice Howl. I had no time, and I had no means to record or even play music with because I sold all of my gear.”
“During those two years, I started writing for Indy Metal Vault, became a Doom Charts contributor, and started my own record label. I’ve seen a lot of changes in our local music scene like the demise of Spirit Division and Thorr-axe. This kind of inspired me to finally learn how to home record. I bought a new guitar and started creating new music. I made an executive decision to continue Ice Howl by myself. So that is how the return of Ice Howl came to be!”
Today we have the pleasure of premiering one of the tracks from the EP, and it’s the heaviest Ice Howl song yet with its slower tempo and harsh vocals. Don’t believe us? Listen to “Look into the Mirror” and find out for yourself.
Ice Howl will be out on May 28th, 2019. You can pre-order it here through Ice Fall Records. The CD version of the EP will include handwritten lyrics and is only $5. You can’t beat that.