Icewind -

Icewind Biography

Power Metal - Canada


Icewind discography

Icewind biography

Icewind's debut goes back to 2001. At that time, three friends, Jay Ménard (guitar), Alex Dubé (drums) and Gabriel Mailloux (bass), gathered at Jay's initiative to share the fun of playing music. The trio dug into their own music interests to play cover songs but also to start a first original song writing process. Notably, primitive drafts of Inner Storm and Washed Away were composed in this era. Pushed by their growing enthusiasm, the members started looking for a singer and a second guitarist. That is when Gabriel Langelier (vocals) and Vincent Poliquin (guitar) joined the band in late summer 2002. The two new members enabled the band to write more complex songs and play power metal classics. All members were getting along well and had the same objective of making it into Quebec's power metal scene. Meanwhile, the primary step to achieve this long road was to choose a name that would stick well to the band's music and image. Thus, Icewind was chosen after discussion of some members' suggestions during fall.


Understanding its creative potential, the band began to write more original songs during winter and spring 2003. It is at that time that Winter Heaven, Trapped In A Dream (ex-Spiritual Nemesis) and All Is Dust were written. However, the band's compositions held a dimension yet impossible to reproduce live and it became imperative to find a keyboardist that would
handle the band's emerging music style; a quest that would take more than a year.


Meanwhile, in spring 2003, diverging opinions between Gabriel Mailhoux and the rest of the band resulted in the bassist's (and founding member's) departure. He pursued his musical career with his brother's band, Art Of Life. This event started a rotating game to fulfill the bassist duties which lasted for two more years. Some months later, Icewind called upon Félix Brouillet's services to handle the bass for the band. This temporary stability gave the band time to pursue its writing process and add such songs as Walking Alone and Follow The Wind to its repertoire. The band also developed a working chemistry without compromising the individual musician's improvements.


The hunt for a keyboardist was still on and worked out well when Steve Gemme finally joined the band in January 2004. His coming could not have occurred at a better time since the band was about to begin recording their first effort, the Inner Storm demo. This new adventure went on for more than three months. The band recorded and produced all by itself the three songs on this demo, Spiritual Nemesis, Winter Heaven and Inner Storm. Furthermore, Icewind asked Kim Gosselin to mix as well as Daniel Sarrazin and Philippe Langelier, Gabriel's brother, for the artworks and visuals. Generally, Inner Storm was positively received by the critics. While pointing out aspects to be improved, critics acknowledged the effort and professionalism of the band's process. The Inner Storm demo was a first opportunity to bring Icewind's music to power metal fans. Thus, the time had come for the band to prove them its energy on stage.


The first Icewind official appearance took place on may 9th 2004. It happened to be the release of the Inner Storm demo as well. This first gig was without doubt prime choice for the fans to embrace the energy and joy of playing of the band. During that year, the band played half a dozen gigs in Quebec to promote its Inner Storm demo.


2004 and 2005 also had their share of events concerning the band's line-up. It became obvious during summer 2004 that Félix Brouillet's behavior and personality would not suit well with Icewind's
objectives anymore. The rest of the band decided to fire him between two gigs. Félix Brouillet pursued music with his own black metal project, A Raven's Forrest. Francis Doramond was quickly called upon for bass duties for the upcoming shows. Some months later, Doramond thought that he was better off to invest himself in his personal musical project. It was Jonathan Archambault's turn to join the band during winter 2004. Unfortunately, his interest and commitment diverged from the rest of the band and resulted in his dismissal after the Boucherville Rock Festival 2005. Archambault lost his place to the actual bassist, Daniel Dupuis who holds the bassist lifespan record inside Icewind. Dan's arrival also occurred at the perfect time since the band was about to dive into its next big adventure.


The first important foreign recognition of Icewind's progression and constant effort came from Europe as a record contract offer. In January 2005, the band and Italian label Steelheart Records inked a deal to distribute a first Icewind album in Europe and Asia. This event quickened the preparation prior to the recording of what would then become All Is Dust . It is in July 2005 that this recording process, lasting for more than six months, began with the first drum tracks. Once more, the band entirely managed, carried out and produced with its own means, though Jay's cousin, Claude Gibeault, helped them out to achieve their project. Two chorals, one consisting of 70 singers, were called upon to highlight some important parts and Dushan Petrossi (Magic Kingdom, Iron Mask) also brought his input by playing a solo over the song Inner Storm. Following the recording session, Icewind entrusted the mixing task to Didier Chesneau (Melody Studios, France) and the mastering to Mika Jussila (Finnvox Studios, Finland) during December 2005 and January 2006. Their combined work formed the final touch necessary to obtain a solid album that would give Icewind the chance to make its mark in the power metal scene, both locally and internationally.


The All Is Dust release in spring 2006 was an incredible opportunity to increase the band's visibility. Icewind grabbed this chance brilliantly by opening for Dragonforce on April 29, 2006 in Montreal as well as for Gamma Ray on May 5, 2006 in Quebec City which were the band's two biggest shows to date.


Since then, the band has worked eagerly to promote All Is Dust . Icewind is seeking more opportunities to play live to share its music and fun with the crowd. As of June 2006, the Italian record label Steelheart record advised the band that it could nothonor its contract due to business difficulties.


From now on, the band's efforts are more than ever focusing on promoting its album to European and Asian labels as well as seeking a contract here in America to reach the most fans possible with its music and eventually play outside Quebec.