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ICE

Neo-Prog • Netherlands


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Ice biography
ICE was formed after the premature demise of the progressive rockgroup MARYSON. The latter band released two albums ('97 and "98) through WMMS, a German record company. The music was based upon the series of fantasy novels by author W.J.Maryson, aka Wim Stolk, who also composed and played keyboards. After he left the band in 2000 the remaining members reformed as ICE and started writing new material. Since there was a general preference to compose music on a fixed theme the new songs were written, using the original story entitled Ice (hence the name chosen for the band) by René Sterk. Besides the CD, a musical, performed by a cast of young students and live music by ICE was completed in the fall of 2005. Thus the new ICE concept was born. The musicians: Ardie Westdijk, keyboards. Ardie, a longtime active player in the progressive rock scene was a founding member of DIFFERENCES and released two albums with this band. He started collaboration with the other ICE members as a hired keyboardplayer for Maryson and eased into the number one spot in 2000. He is responsible for most of the ICE material and beeing a graphic designer by trade, all the credits for the artwork for the CD are his. Chris van Hoogdalem, guitars and vocals. Chris started his musical journey as a guitarplayer in rockbands. He went on to record with bands like ALPHA and CIRKEL. He played studio dates for quite some time, gaining experience playing different musical styles. Chris wrote a couple of tracks for the album. Hein van den Broek, vocals and guitars. Hein started out as the leadsinger for ARGYLL. He was also involved in several musical projects, for some time his favorite niche in the rock world, one of those beeing "Let's stick together", performing several shows with high profile musicians. Hein currently also performs with his band ORIENTAL GUITARS, playing dates in Holland as well as the United Kingdom. On stage, Hein shares the guitarslot with Chris, playing both acoustic and electric guitars. He also contributes in the writing department. Hennie van Mourik, bass guitars and vocals. Hennie has many years of musical experience, playing and singing in progressive rockbands like CIRKEL and KEY LARGO. Fitting his modest persona, Hennie operates from the background but his playing is of great influence on the overall sound of the band, beeing responsible for many of the complimentary melodies played on either fretted or fretless bass. Rob Boshuijzen, drums. Rob i...read more

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3.26 | 20 ratings
The Saga
2005

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ICE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Saga by ICE album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.26 | 20 ratings

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The Saga
Ice Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

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.

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 The Saga by ICE album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.26 | 20 ratings

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The Saga
Ice Neo-Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

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.

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 The Saga by ICE album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.26 | 20 ratings

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The Saga
Ice Neo-Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

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.

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 The Saga by ICE album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.26 | 20 ratings

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The Saga
Ice Neo-Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

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

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 The Saga by ICE album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.26 | 20 ratings

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The Saga
Ice Neo-Prog

Review by erik neuteboom
Prog Reviewer

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.



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Thanks to erik neuteboom - Ivan_Melgar_M for the artist addition.

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