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Izz - Don't Panic CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.92 | 234 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars This album by the American group IZZ has risen to the top of 2019's charts, which is easy to understand. That is, if you are a YES fan.

To me that represents playing lots of notes without creating any potent harmonies or melodies that have a story to tell. Like, for instance, the frantic opening of 'Close to the Edge'. To others these intricate noodling progressions might represent progressive rock at its best. The YES influences are almost everywhere, even influencing the vocals harmonies (the band has multiple singers) that are often quite flat as a result. The lyrics are given a dominant place in the music and having read them (on the lyrical sheet of the vinyl) I must admit I can't quite make up what they are even supposed to mean. As if they refer to some 'inside' knowlegde, for instance with the significance of the number '42' - which also is the title of the eighteen minute centerpiece. The acoustic piece 'Six String Theory' has a nice ring to it, but I fail to see how it fits in with this otherwise fully electric album.

Having said this, there are also some Gentle Giant influences on display, which I like. Furthermore, the killer instrumental track 'Moment of Inertia' on side two ought to impress listeners of all progressive traditions. The track sounds nothing like the others and sees the band building up nice amounts of energy. The final song 'Age of the Stars' sounds like a continuation and conclusion of the epic ('42') of the album. The 'Don't panic, don't panic' vocals are a rather dull ending section and the album finished abruptly.

The production of this album sounds a bit flat, but that might also be because of a rather poor vinyl pressing (which I noticed happening before with a Major Parkinson vinyl). Perhaps cd / digital sound better. I was thinking about rating this two stars, but the album was saved by the ten minutes of 'Moment of Inertia' - which I do like.

friso | 3/5 |


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