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IZZ

Symphonic Prog • United States


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Izz biography
IZZ, from New York, originates with the Galgano brothers. Tom (keyboards, vocals) and John (bass, guitar, keyboards, vocals) grew up listening to music together, so it was a natural step for them to join forces as musicians. John Met Greg DiMiceli (drums and percussion) in college, and thus started a domino effect of introductions. Greg begat Brian Coralian (drums and Percussion) and Paul Bremner (lead guitar), and Paul begat Phil Gaita (bass). As musicians do, they all jammed together and eventually IZZ was formed (the name taken from one of John's favorite Mets players). However, Paul was in another band, so he was not yet an official member.

In 1998 "Sliver of a Sun" was released. For the debut, John handled lead guitar, and Phil was on bass. While putting the finishing touches on the album, Tom met Laura Meade and Anmarie Byrnes. The ladies did not join the club right away, but their vocal and compositional talents would come to have a profound impact on the IZZ sound later on.

2002's "I move" saw Phil's departure, and the permanent addition of Paul Bremner. This also meant that John was now on Bass duty. The core of the band was now set with a strong lead guitariist, and the unusual aspect of dual drummers.

In 2004 the band released a collection of previously unused material called "Ampesand Vol. 1." It consisted of outtakes from the first two albums, and some live tracks. It was a decent curiosity, but real excitement was brewing with the following release.
The release of "My River Flows" in 2005 really started to turn some heads. The band was very good before, but the addition of Laura and Anmarie, and the growth of the group itself drove them to create their most accomplished work to date. Enthusiasm for IZZ grew as the album got more exposure. The live shows were also met high praise. This culminated with their appearance at NEARfest 2007, which was considered one of the best performances that year. Thankfully it was recorded and released simply as "Live at Nearfest."

IZZ is frequently seen on the Progressive Rock festival circuit. They are influenced by the usual classics (Yes, Genesis, Gentle Giant, The Beatles, etc.), and also modern bands, like Radiohead. There are even those that see a certain pop element in the music, mostly due to Tom Galgano and Laura Meade's vocals. They seem to have no exceptions when it comes to incorporating styles. It is not unusual to hear Rock, Jazz, Latin, and Funk. This gives them ...
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Buy IZZ Music


Crush of NightCrush of Night
Doone Records 2012
Audio CD$9.95
$5.99 (used)
The Darkened RoomThe Darkened Room
Doone Records 2009
Audio CD$12.99
$7.79 (used)
My River FlowsMy River Flows
Doone Records, Inc. 2005
Audio CD$11.99
$4.88 (used)
Sliver of a SunSliver of a Sun
Doone Records 2011
Audio CD$15.99
$80.12 (used)
IZZ Live at NEARfestIZZ Live at NEARfest
Doone Records 2007
Audio CD$14.99
$14.99 (used)
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IZZ shows & tickets


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IZZ discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

IZZ top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.57 | 38 ratings
Sliver Of A Sun
1998
3.65 | 64 ratings
I Move
2002
3.01 | 24 ratings
Ampersand Vol. 1
2004
3.80 | 77 ratings
My River Flows
2005
3.91 | 95 ratings
The Darkened Room
2009
3.84 | 135 ratings
Crush Of Night
2012

IZZ Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.91 | 26 ratings
Live at Nearfest
2007

IZZ Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.84 | 6 ratings
Live
2011

IZZ Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

IZZ Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 1 ratings
Places To Hide
2010
3.50 | 2 ratings
Red Rain
2011

IZZ Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Ampersand Vol. 1 by IZZ album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.01 | 24 ratings

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Ampersand Vol. 1
Izz Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Apparently Izz had hit the stride with the first pair of released albums, as the band started to become a regular visitor of famous Prog festivals, beginning with Progfest 2002, where they shared the same stage with Thieves' Kitchen and Prog/Fusion veterans Kraan and The Muffins.The Galgano brothers thought that some of material not included in the previous album was too good to be left aside and decided to offer it to the public under the title of ''Ampersand''.Just one week before its release in 2004, Izz would make another significant performance in Rosfest 2004 next to acts such as Jadis, Salem Hill and Sonus Umbra.

The leftovers from ''I move'' are supported by a bunch of live tracks in an album that is pretty interesting without reaching the best moments of Izz'es normal studio albums.While the previous efforts of the band were basically deeped into Neo/Symphonic Prog with huge pop sensibilities, ''Ampersand'' sounds mostly as a collection of Prog-Pop tracks with quirky instrumental workouts and less emphasis on symphonic orchestrations.You can turn around the band's main influences and this one comes as if THE BEATLES turned Prog, influenced by GENESIS, YES and GENTLE GIANT.The acoustic guitars come in evidence, the cinematic textures are a basic content and the lyrical moments seem to be among the leading forces of the album.Even so, this is way too far from typical, crappy Pop material.Izz complemented their sound with nervous synthesizers, some dramatic instrumental lines with a GENTLE GIANT-like complexity and lots of light, Neo/Symph Prog elements close to the principles of MOSTLY AUTUMN, early PAATOS or BREATHING SPACE.As for the live tracks, these are recorded in three different venues and come basically from the band's previous albums with ''Star evil gnoma su'' being an absolute stunner in this live version, Progressive Rock at its best form, complex, naughty, intricate and melodic.The biggest surprise comes from the ''Molly's jig'' track, a rural instrumental piece with some supporting lines by electric guitars and keyboards, originally included in Paul Bremner's 2004 album ''Wombsong''.

Do not leave this work by Izz aside.The band seems so talented that even these Pop-inclined pieces are covered by an inventive, proggy flexibilty.Close to the sound of BRIGHTEYE BRISON's early material or SPOCK'S BEARD more accesible compositions and warmly recommended.

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 The Darkened Room by IZZ album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.91 | 95 ratings

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The Darkened Room
Izz Symphonic Prog

Review by sinslice

3 stars It is difficult to discuss these boys instrumentalist expertise. The during Darkened Room it is seen clearly. The music takes hold in the excellent parts of piano, keyboards and guitar contributions. The album shows a more mature that 'My River Flows', but I like more the one published in 2005.

Here the blend between symphonic progressive, with a dose of alternative rock and some electronic, not completely captivates me.

In '23 Minutes of Tragedy ' is where they achieve a greater impact on that effort, great song. At other times, as in 'Can not Feel the Earth part I and III' and 'Regret', also achieve a good musical atmosphere.

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 Live at Nearfest by IZZ album cover Live, 2007
3.91 | 26 ratings

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Live at Nearfest
Izz Symphonic Prog

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator Psych/Space Team & Band Submissions

4 stars Sitting In This Asylum ... I Need Assurance Now

'Live At Nearfest' presents an excellent IZZ performance from the year 2007. Firstly, let me assure that they belong to my favourite bands over hell of a long time. Founded by Galgano brothers Tom and John they are of an exceptional singularity, thus I often come back to them, especially when I'm in a pleasant mood. I like their convenient combination of trickiness and warm-hearted harmonies - additionally the (polyphonic) vocals are a special trademark. Musicianship is wide-ranged, John Galgano for example handles bass, guitar and keyboards, and they have two drummers respectively percussionists aboard, who complement each other.

Won't claim that this is something like a best of collection exactly, but the compilation surely makes it big, sounds rounded due to a perpetual shift back and forth between charming and propulsive moments. They start with Swallow Our Pride - a testimonial, which made it on the next coming album 'The Darkened Room' then. My River Flows is somewhat exceptional while given with two guitars involved, speaking of Paul Bremner and John Galgano perfectly complementing on this very dynamic song. Now the operating temperature is achieved in a minimum of time.

The symphonic Assurance shows them hanging back then with charming moments at first, but - not really surprising - in between the horses break into a gallop of course. Wonderful vocals and sparkling piano lines are the attraction on where the studio version of Late Night Salvation seems to be better as for my impression - eh ... sorry ... if at all I'm talking about nuances here, you should know. I still find this an exceptional feature included - just take care of the female vocals and the drum solo performed by both percussionists.

The atmospheric Where I Belong is showcasing Anmarie Byrnes and Laura Meade in front - and then Star Evil Gnoma Su follows as their showpiece per se. Every time I listen, I'm still impressed about the virtuosity - a masterpiece of progressive rock indeed. The live version even seems to work slightly better. Chapeau! Funny - after years I finally realized, that the song title is a (simple) pun. This live album is a perfect introduction to the IZZ world, if you still are not familiar. Furthermore you shouldn't miss their studio output.

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 I Move by IZZ album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.65 | 64 ratings

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I Move
Izz Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

4 stars After the debut of Izz bassist Philip Gaita decided to leave the group.John Galgano then made a smart move, taking over the bass duties and hiring with his brother guitarist Paul Bremner, a musician that prooved to be the last missing puzzle in a stable line-up.With this formation Izz recorded their sophomore album ''I Move'' in 2002, released again on John Galgano's Doone Records.

The style of the band did not change a bit, despite the presence of the new guitarist, and follows the lines of modern Symphonic/Neo Progressive Rock with glances in the past but a quite contemporary sound.GENESIS, YES, KING CRIMSON and GENTLE GIANT influences along with THE BEATLES touches remain the main components of Izz'es music, which actually sound like a second incarnation of SPOCK'S BEARD.Next to the usual prog instrumentation Izz use a bit of samplers and loops, trying to add some more originality in their music.The result is very satysfying to say the least.Emphatic contemporary Progressive Rock, which ranges from atmospheric soundscapes to rich and full-blown passages, based on the slightly distorted vocals of Tom Galgano and the intelligent arrangements, which contain both melodic and more challenging parts.Excellent soaring synthesizers combine with discreet organs and smooth piano interludes and all these are blended with John Galgano's and Bremner's guitars, which excercise the possibility of the coexistence between melody and complexity.The material is extremely memorable and well-crafted with some very good compositions among the fifteen pieces displayed on the CD, while the full instrumental textures are highly adventurous and fairly complicated.

Another nice album in the Izz discography.Extremely balanced, modern sounding, challenging and melodic at the same time.Highly recommended.

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 Crush Of Night by IZZ album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.84 | 135 ratings

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Crush Of Night
Izz Symphonic Prog

Review by ProgShine
Collaborator Errors & Omissions and Crossover Team

4 stars I've heard about the American band IZZ back in the year of 2009 when I was contacted by the Press Manager of the band. That year they released their album The Darkened Room (2009). I didn't know at the time, but that album was the first part of a trilogy. Three years later they released the second part of their story under the name Crush of Night (2012). This album is quite special to the band, since they got the legendary Gary Green (GENTLE GIANT guitarist) to play in 2 of the songs.

Crush of Night (2012) is not that different, sonically speaking, from The Darkened Room (2009). As it is supposed to be in a second part of a story, it's a continuation of their previous work.

One of the things that I like in IZZ since the beginning is the bass lines that John Galgano brings to their music, always clever. Also, the vocals are here too, at this point a trade mark of the band. It's quite normal on their albums to hear two voices at the same time, sometimes even three, which is a very original feature of the band.

'You've Got A Time' is the opening track and it's a typical IZZ track, superb quality with a little pop accent. The second, 'Words And Miracles' is more complex in the beginning. Lots of guitars including the mentioned Gary Green participation and great vocals by Tom Galgano (he's also the keyboard man). Anmarie Byrnes is the female voice on the track three, 'Solid Ground', but the electronics and the 'blips & blops' of the track bother me as hell! Especially because I know the track could be really better with a different arrangement. To compensate for 'Solid Ground', IZZ brings to the table the superb 'Half The Way', melodical and beautiful keyboard driven song. A great guitar solo by Paul Bremner is included! In the sequence we have the 'Crush Of Night Suite', as the readers of Progshine already know I'm a fan of long songs, this is one of them, but unfortunately it was divided into two tracks. Together they spam over 26 minutes. The Suite starts with 'This Reality' and a wonderful bass line by John Galgano. Around 3 minutes the electronics come along again, and it bothers me again, especially knowing the band has two drummers' I don't think it fits their music at all. The first part of the Suite is a bit weak in my opinion, it lacks the epic feeling that I know the band could deliver. In the second part of 'The Crush Of Night' we have once again Gary Green as a Special Guest in the guitars, but the overall feeling continues to be not that good. To me the song doesn't go anywhere, I know the band could do much better. Only after the 9th minute of the song I could feel the real IZZ in it, like I know they can be, which is kinda sad.

'Almost Over' finishes Crush of Night (2012) with one more guest, Greg Meade on the guitar solo, a great bass line, nice doubled vocals and a nice riff. Not enough to make me feel that the album is worth a million listens. In fact, I feel a little bit disappointed, cause I really like the band.

My overall feeling about this new IZZ album is that they could have done better! It's a good album, but it's not so remarkable as The Darkened Room (2009). Some pieces seem out of place, especially in the Suite. I will wait with my best high hopes for the next album, that will finish the trilogy!

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 Crush Of Night by IZZ album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.84 | 135 ratings

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Crush Of Night
Izz Symphonic Prog

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator Psych/Space Team & Band Submissions

4 stars 'Crush Of Night' is announced to be the second part of a trilogy which has been started with 'The Darkened Room' in 2009. So first of all - this obviously is not the end of the story, good to know. New York based IZZ were founded by the Galgano brothers Tom and John nearly 15 years ago, and since then they are an absolute guarantee when it comes to catchy retro styled prog rock music with symphonic touches. For me a big trademark is that - often outfitted with female suppport - voices and instruments perfectly match..And this points to the fact that Anmarie Byrnes is aboard once more, immediately to notice when the first song starts with disitnctive vocal harmonies.

Words And Miracles features a guest appearance of Gentle Giant's guitarist Gary Green - a guitar dominated tune with great dynamics but also a semi-acoustic part by way of variation. Solid Ground convinces me completely due to the catchy main melody and wonderful polyphonic vocals. The balladesque Half The Way comes with sparkling piano leading into the album's 26-minute centerpiece, represented by two immediately consecutive and extended songs. The solemn This Reality with proper symphonic fundament and then the epic title song are showcasing several twists and turns. First this reminds me of german band RPWL a bit. Some sweet melodies follow, finally even jamming approach inclusive of guitar solos and synth excursions backed by a groovy background - the song-writing abilities are simply great here!

No filler to discover! With 'Crush Of Night' the band has delivered an excellent workout again in 2012 - definitely something to enjoy. Strong musicianship all the way through. I wouldn't say this is significantly differing from previous efforts, except an improved accessibility of the compositions maybe. As for that not really spectacular, one or two may say - however the songs certainly prove mature, can convince me absolutely. So I'm sure this one will be an excellent addition to every well-sorted prog music collection.

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 My River Flows by IZZ album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.80 | 77 ratings

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My River Flows
Izz Symphonic Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars My river flows from 2005 is definetly a step forward in comparation with mediocre I move. This is much mature work, more elaborated passages and with more prog elements like before. Pieces like Late Night Salvation or Crossfire are definetly winners for sure, with great musicianship, good ideas and the arrangements are almost great. The mixed bag is again present here, some rock moemnts, some even alternative elements combined with some Yes orintated parts, some more edgy passages, all are melted in one unit that is Izz. Even I consider this album a better one from their catalogue and much intristing then I move I'm not really convincied that this album needs more attention from my side in the future. The guitar parts are ok, even some great chops here and there. I will give 3 stars, worth it but far from being something spectacular, I know hundreds of bands who have a far more intristing music then Izz offers here.

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 I Move by IZZ album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.65 | 64 ratings

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I Move
Izz Symphonic Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

2 stars This is painful to my ears

Izz second album fom 2002 named simple I move is a kind of album that I don't like at all from the first spin, this is pop with crossover prog elements that sounds like Radiohead or Porcupine Tree with some Yes influneces here and there and is disguised as symphonic prog, uhh, not for me. I'm agree with Marty that I've expected something really symphonic prog here, not some modern tra la la band that incapsulates so many styles that even they don't know what they play in the end. I like my old kind of symphonic prog, really. Back to this album, besides an awfull cover art, the music is less intrsting, the first half of the abum is forgetable at best, purly produce, of course well played, but the ideas suffer in solid songwritting, this is mediocre. No true songs here to really put my finger on and said this is the best from the album, all are almost the same with no attitude. To me this album is boring like hell, I can't give more then 2 stars

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 Live by IZZ album cover DVD/Video, 2011
3.84 | 6 ratings

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Live
Izz Symphonic Prog

Review by rdtprog
Special Collaborator Heavy Prog Team

4 stars This DVD is divided in 4 parts. The fist part is the main concert shot in 2007 at the Nearfest festival. This is a brillant performance with a professionnel camera work with a good stereo sound and a good picture quality. The band display his talent for a hour of beautiful music. For those who don't know the music of Izz, it's a progressive rock that covers a lot of ground with a variety of atmosphere, from the light ballad passage to the heavier and dark intrumental part where nice keyboards and great guitars shines. The vocal harmonies brings a interesting counterpoint to the complex music of the band. And on top of that we have a solid rhytm section consisting of 2 drummers!

The second part is taken from a show in 2002 at the ProgWest festival. Here we have a 3 camera shot with a audience bootleg sound. After the excellent quality of the main feature, this is a big step bakcward. I am glad that we have only 4 songs on that show.

The third part is more interesting with a live-in-studio webast of one hour with one camera and a decent sound. Here we have some Izz's songs and some songs taken from solo's cds of different members of the band. There is a some nice songs again here, showing a band that know how to write good compostions.

The fourth part is like a rehearsal of the band in studio. Nothing exceptional, but interesting to see another side of the band.

In conclusion, the main feature is worth the price of the DVD alone, it's just too short, but at that time, the band had only 3 cds on the market. It's a nice addition to any progressive fans.

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 Live at Nearfest by IZZ album cover Live, 2007
3.91 | 26 ratings

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Live at Nearfest
Izz Symphonic Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Izz sound is definitly a grower. I had heard their second studio album (2002s I Move) and I remember not liking it. Too many modern references for my taste (you know, Radiohead, Coldplay and the like...). However, even then I found this american group to be far more adventurous, skillful and, yes, progressive, than those bands. I thought that their live album would be a little more energetic and less slick than their studio counterparts, and I was right. Even if the style here is not what I call my favorite type of progressive music, it is still quite impressive anyway. The obvious King Crimson influence on some parts and the cool jazzy elements were quite a surprise for me. Their live perfomance is spotless and their instrumental precision is amazing.

I was wondering why they were labeled as symphonic rock and not crossover, but listening to this CD with atention youll find that they are indeed quite symphonic and the music is far more complex than I initially thought it was. Their elaborated and varied compositions (specially on the CDs second half) are really excellent and hints even a few Yes-like passages, with very fine keys and several Chris Squire-ish bass runs. I loved the exquisite keyboards timbres, the brilliant guitar passages and the sophisticated vocals (the two girl backing vocals are very good!)

The album was very well recorded and produced. Highlights? Try the 12 minute Late Night Salvation and the cool Where I Belong, but Live at Nearfest has no weak tracks. They are a real tight band.

Conclusion: very interesting and original sounds. If you want to hear something new in the prog field, this album might give you some pleasant moments. RAting: something between 4 and 4.5 stars. A band to watch for!

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