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Ice The Saga album cover
3.39 | 34 ratings | 6 reviews | 15% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 2005

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Strangelight (7:18)
2. Farewell (2:55)
3. The Trail (6:08)
4. Why Me (4:51)
5. Shining (7:01)
6. Setback (7:10)
7. Not Only Love (5:17)
8. The River (7:13)
9. No Choice (4:10)
10. This Battle (8:56)

Total Time: 60:59

Line-up / Musicians

- Hein van den Broek / vocals
- Chris van Hoogdalem / guitars
- Henny van Mourik / bass
- Ardie Westdijk / keyboards, piano
- Rob Boshuijzen / drums, percussion

Releases information

CD Musea Records FGBG 4625.AR (2005) France

Thanks to erik neuteboomfuid=erik neuteboom for the addition
and to Grendelbox for the last updates
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ICE The Saga ratings distribution

(34 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(15%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(36%)
Good, but non-essential (39%)
Collectors/fans only (9%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

ICE The Saga reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by erik neuteboom
3 stars The new Dutch progrock formation Ice is an offshoot from Dutch band Maryson, the brainchild of writer/keyboardist Wim Stolk. He is not present on this CD, the keyboards are by Ardie Westdijk who once played with his brother in Dutch progrock band Differences in The Eighties.

So here we have some experienced prog musicians, this is obvious on The Saga because the 10 compositions sound very professional and pleasant (melodic, harmonic, tasteful and varied): from dreamy to bombastic up-tempo (with echoes from Pendragon) in the opener Starlight, a lush symphonic rock sound delivering howling electric guitar in The Trail, dreamy and compelling featuring a fiery saxophone solo in Not Only Love, from slow to up-tempo with pleasant keyboard work (including a sitar sound) and a wonderful guitar solo in The River and bombastic with Floydian guitar and flashy synthesizer runs in Setback. The final long track This Battle delivers a splendid final part: first acoustic rhythm guitar and vocals with strong hints from early Uriah Heep, then exciting symphonic rock with great soli on guitar, saxophone and keyboards. The vocals on this CD are excellent: Hein v/d Broek delivers emotion and variety and succeeds to give the songs an extra dimension with his singing.

Dutch band Ice has made a strong debut-CD, at some moments a bit polished but in general very tasteful and entertaining with the strong guitar play and tasteful colouring by the keyboards as the main assets.

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars An hour of stimulating symph-prog, not overtly complex material but delivered with aplomb, gusto and genuine pleasure. I was expecting something in the Maryson vein as all musicians save the keyboard player are from that Dutch band. But this one sort of crept up on me unaware and proceeded to snatch my interest and then, my admiration. This is top- extended pop-prog tunes that some may call neo but done with such expertise, anyone can get into this. Guitarist Van Hoogdalen contributes his usual stellar musicianship , the bass and drums keep the package together with plenty of assorted little touches that keep everything always interesting, a little sitar here ,a lot of fiery sax there. Really charming stuff. The programme starts off a tad predictably but as each new song appears , the overall mood improves immeasurably. By the time you get to the extraordinarily hummable "Not Only Love", which sticks to melobraincells like crazy glue, the ride to the end is sheer pleasure. Lots of 7 minute mini-epics here that will please some , delight others and disappoint no progger. Lots of good sympho-prog from Holland lately (Nice Beaver, Odyssice, Mangrove, Novox, Flamborough Head, Like Wendy, Trion, Lady Lake and Knight Area), providing solid releases with consistently better than usual vocals , with something for everyone. Ice seems like a one shot deal but it has the mettle to stand the test of time. 4 frozen cubes
Review by Tarcisio Moura
3 stars When I first saw this CD on the music store shelf I thought they were some power metal band from Germany. The cover and the title were like those kind of bands that were all over the place in the late 90´s. So I was quite surpised when I was told they were in fact a prog outfit from Holand, based around the membrs of the band Maryson. I got curious enough to hear (and eventually purchase) the record. And it was quite different from their former group, no doubt.

Ice plays a kind of melodic prog metal with strong AOR tendencies (more prog than metal, though), and some symphonic bits here and there. It takes some time to digest this massive epic and the singer may not be evryone´s cup of tea. Of course all the musicians are very good and the production is excellent (a bit too polished maybe). There are some great instrumental passages, with very well placed guitars and keyboards lines. I can´t point out no highlights nor real lows. I think Ice is very promising and I hope they develop their sound even more.

Quite strong debut. If you´re into melodic prog then The Saga is a good pick.

Rating: something between 3 and 3,5 stars.

Review by b_olariu
3 stars Ice is a dutch neo prog band with only one album in thier pockets named The saga from 2005. Ice is formed by members (who are veterans in this field) of another dutch band from late '90's Maryson who was disbanded after only two albums. Also the bass player Henny van Mourik besides Maryson he was a member of Cirkel (band from Holland who release a single album in 1983, The first goodbye). I was quite impressed by this album, the music is very fluent, very catchy in places, from mellow pieces to more up tempo, all is done very good and play from pleasure. All the musicians are great specially the keyboard player Ardie Westdijk , who done an excellent work here, he is also the producer of the album and the main song writter. The compositions are very varied with good vocals, wonderful guitarwork and a solid musicianship. All pieces stands as good, specialy the first three are excellent, opening track Strangelight, is a piece in good tradion neo prog , next the mellow and very smooth Farewell and the best piece from here in my opinion the instrumental masterpiece The Trail, one of the best instrumental pieces I ever heard from a neo prog band, superb musicianship, excellent guitar work and unmatch prestation of Ardie Westdijk on keys, wonderful piece and No Choice - the most uptempo track from here with a lots of great interplay between guitar and keys, great work made by the bass player Henny van Mourik, another goody that shows Ice was a promissing band in this genre. The saga deserve for sure 3 stars, maybe rounded up to 3.5 , but because this rate doesn't exist I remain to 3, a solid album, who needs a wider recognition because worth it. Album available on Musea records.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This Dutch band from Monster arose from the ashes of Maryson, when Wim Stolk, who passed away at the age of 60 in 2011, dissolved the project around 2000.Hein van den Brock, Chris van Hoogdalem, Henny van Mourik and Rob Boshuijzen, who were all involved in Maryson. decided to move on under the name of Ice, recruiting Ardie Westdijk on keyboards, formerly of Differences.The band lauched its debut ''The saga'' in 2005, after being signed by Musea Records.

This list of Dutch Neo Prog band seems neverending and Ice is yet another group to labeled as such, they have a clean and often grandiose sound, filled with keyboards and melodic guitars and, like many other Dutch acts of the style, they even throw in some organ lines to offer a kind of old-styled flavor.A bit similar to TIMELOCK, CLIFFHANGER and EGDON HEATH, the long experience of the members in the scene is reflected on a set of well-crafted compositions, based on atmospheric parts, crystalline vocals and odd synth flashing.At moments they even appear to explore a more AOR-spiced sound with striking rhythms and choruses, but for the most of its part ''The saga'' has this bombastic and epic style of modern Symphonic/Neo Prog with the dramatic turns, lyrical demonstration and emphatic musicianship.Speaking of lyrics, these were all written by a sixth hidden member, Rene Sterk.Ice prooved to be masters on creating strong emotional contents with this work, there are lots of changing moods throughout, ranging from melodramatic textures to more optimistic tunes, apparently the music goes the same way, passing from full-blown Neo Prog with symphonic keyboards and blistering guitars to more accesible and easily digested performances.Echoes of MARILLION and PENDRAGON dominate the album, which comes as another fine addition in the catalogue of Dutch Neo Prog.

The band kept it going with live performances over the years and in 2013 Sterk took over the bass duties for good, replacing the departing Henny van Mourik.

Solid Neo Prog with rockin' edges, epic deliveries and dramatic atmospheres.Did not expect anything else by a bunch of Dutch Prog veterans, an easy recommendation to all fans of the style.

Review by Matti
4 stars Netherlands has always been a strong prog country, and that concerns also this Millenium. But the new generation bands tend to be more short-lived projects; there are several Dutch bands with only one album out. One of them is ICE, but it's a direct continuation to a former band called Maryson which made two conceptual Neo Prog albums in the latter half of the 90's, both being based on fantasy novels of the group's leading man W. J. Maryson alias Wim Stolk. After his departure in 2000 the rest of the group plus Ardie Westdijk on keyboards formed Ice. This album was released by the prog-oriented French label Musea.

Maryson was musically compared to e.g. Strangers On The Train (one of British keyboardist Clive Nolan's projects) and to their countryman Arjen Lucassen's megalomanic project Ayreon. Unsurprisingly also the hour-long The Saga is melodic and synth oriented Neo Prog with a symphonic tendency. I hear some Pendragon in the opening track 'Strangelight', and influences from Marillion's original vocalist Fish in Hein van den Broek's vocals. 'Farewell' is an emotional, somewhat Phil Collins reminding, piano & synth centred ballad just under three minutes long, while several of the ten tracks are around 6-7 minutes. The third track ('The Trail') is an enjoyably soaring instrumental where the guitarist Chris van Hoogdalem has plenty of space to shine.

The song-writing is pretty good all the way and the production is very clear. What irritates me a bit is the dominant presence of synth carpets in the background, and perhaps the capable rhythm section would have deserved more attention in the mix. The nearly 9-minute final track 'This Battle' has exactly the kind of wide canvas bombastic pathos and emotion that an epic natured album like this deserves. The sax part gets rather cheesy though. Nevertheless, this album is strongly recommendable to synth-friendly Neo Prog listeners who enjoy melodic bands such as Pendragon, Marillion, Like Wendy, etc.

It's worth mentioning that the lyrics were written by Rene Sterk upon his own short story called 'Ice'. The Ice project even continued with a musical production. The band performed for several years but never made another album.

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