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ICE AGE

Progressive Metal • United States


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Ice Age biography
Hailing from Long Island, New York, ICE AGE was formed in 1992, when classically trained Josh PINCUS (vocals, keyboards) and Jimmy PAPPAS (guitars) met at college and were bitten by the early American Progressive Metal scene spearheaded by DREAM THEATER, besides a love of bands such as QUEENSRYCHE, RUSH, KANSAS, STYX & JOURNEY. A year later, they were joined by a highly proficient rhythm section in the form of Hal APONTE (drums) and Arron DiCESARE (bass). This was a unit which would stay together for the duration of their two studio album deal with Magna Carta, then a leading label in progressive metal distribution, over three years.

Aiming to create music in the progressive metal vein which was essentially song orientated rather than a mere showcase for technical wizardry, their debut "The Great Divide" (1999) seems to steer a fine line between the two, and whilst undoubtedly containing an original voice, is clearly also influenced by many of the aforementioned bands. The debut, an altogether heavier offering than the follow-up, contains long, complex passages with heavy riffing and memorable tunes, yet it is in the two instrumental tracks where the ever changing time signatures come to the fore, showing a compositional maturity not often seen in an album debut.

Although the debut was critically acclaimed from many quarters, the relatively poor CD sales influenced the band toward a more accessible, song orientated follow-up in the form of "Liberation" (2001) which perhaps also had a less aggressively metallic feel. Hallmarks of both albums, especially "Liberation", are the intelligent, sensitive lyrics, reminiscent of early KANSAS, which are often grounded in the human condition and experience; most notable among these being "The Lhasa Road", concerning the Chinese occupation of Tibet. As PAPPAS says, "Songs are what we use to express ourselves and communicate our ideas to others. A song resembles a movie. The lyrics provide the storytelling and the music represents the visuals. We use music to provide an emotional roller coaster for the listener and enhance the ideas and thoughts behind the lyrics."

Following the release of "Liberation", Ice Age parted company with Arron DiCESARE, who was replaced by Doug ODELL, an experienced bassist with a background in both rock and jazz. Despite further critical acclaim for the album however, they parted company with Magna Carta and it would be another three years before ICE AGE would release a s...
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The Great DivideThe Great Divide
Magna Carta Records 1999
Audio CD$12.58
$3.86 (used)
LiberationLiberation
Magna Carta 2001
Audio CD$5.57
$2.80 (used)
NEW BRIGADENEW BRIGADE
Sony Music Japan
Audio CD$21.99
$23.01 (used)
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ICE AGE discography


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

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

4.00 | 60 ratings
The Great Divide
1999
3.36 | 31 ratings
Liberation
2001

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

ICE AGE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

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

4.33 | 3 ratings
Little Bird
2004

ICE AGE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Great Divide by ICE AGE album cover Studio Album, 1999
4.00 | 60 ratings

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The Great Divide
Ice Age Progressive Metal

Review by progbethyname

4 stars ICE AGE's: THE GREAT DIVIDE IS A QUALITY ALBUM, BUT IT DOESN'T STRAY AWAY FROM TYPICAL 90's SOUNDING PROGRESSIVE METAL. '

On all accounts I shall say that ICE AGE, released a very solid album in vain of the true progressive metal spirit and that of the 90's retro classic character to their music. THE GREAT DIVIDE is a 74min powerhouse filled with speed, majesty and a whole lot of grandeur. Everything from the Guitar, Bass, Drums and keyboards are played with such vigor and conviction. Also, the vocals by JOSH PINCUS are clearly very powerful and range from being as graceful as a humming bird to being earth shattering-glacial cracking like a raw and powerful banshee in total command. Needless to say, PINCUS is a great vocalist and he borders on the vocal style progressions of RUSSEL ALLEN (SYMPHONY X) JAMES LaBRIE (DREAM THEATER) and even has wisps of GEDDY LEE (RUSH) as well. All in all, a fantastic vocalist is at the helm of the ICE AGE ship and I even think that fans of GEOFF TATE (QUEENSR'CHE) and ROB HALFORD (JUDAS PREIST) will really accept PINCUS into their Musical hearts. He can shriek like a madman...in a good way of course.'

Furthermore, and to get to the point, I had a lot of fun listening to this album. I was immediately captivated by the album art work, which spans from back to front of the album itself and i felt that it will surely set the tone before listening, if one were to gaze at the panoramic cover art for just a few moments. A beautiful Divide indeed. ;)

Not long after my excessive gazing of a beautiful skull baring bridge and majestic glacial mountains, I commenced 'to Listen to the opening track, PERPETUAL CHILD. I will attest that, for now, this is the best track on the album. I fell in love with this 10:29min epic opener instantly. The listener is presented with lavish keyboards that constantly change in tempo. The drumming is outstanding by HAL APONTE. APONTE is a serious, elite drummer who rivals the speed of SCOTT TRAVIS (X RACER, JUDAS PREIST) and JASON RULLO (SYMPHONY X). 'Simply mind-blowing how fast and skilled APONTE is. "HAL can open the pod bay doors", which the listener will hear and understand on the 8:54 beastly instrumental SPARE CHICKEN PARTS. 'The instrumental has a clever movie quote from 2001:A SPACE ODYSSEY that further introduces HAL's skill as a drummer much in vain of the supercomputer HAL 9000. Very clever :) Moving on, the electric guitar soars mightily from JIMMY PAPAS, who's playing style reminds me a lot of MICHAEL ROMEO's (SYMPHONY X) and the infamous JOHN PETRUCCI (DREAM THEATER.) Truly, PAPPAS is a real treat to listen to, not just on PERPETUAL CHILD, but the whole album really. He is a noodling wiz. As for the bass I was really happy with efforts from ARRON DiCESARE. Very clean, pulsing sound that you can hear very clearly in the bands music and that is something I really love about ICE AGE's overall sound. ICE AGE do not saturate their sound in keyboards and guitars, so the bass is barely audible. I think we can all say that DREAM THEATER suffer from these tendencies...poor JOHN MYUNG :( Lastly, the vocals are superb from Mr. PINCUS. The lyrics in this album are quite dense and are of rapid fire purportions at most times on THE GREAT DIVIDE, but it's so incredibly cool to listen to PINCUS poor his heart out into your ears. It's a lot of fun, even though the subject matter is apocalyptic and about fighting for survival (being on the right side of the great divide), but I'm sure you(the listener) will have a few head bangs for just the sheer love of the sound of his voice in relation to the music despite the doomy subject matter.'

This

Thus, the album THE GREAT DIVIDE is feel find and I think a lot the prog metal nut cases (like me) are truly gonna enjoy this album. ICE AGE's THE GREAT DIVIDE surprisingly has a bit of age to it being 14 years old at this time, but fans of the older albums like AWAKE (DREAM THEATER) and DIVINE WINGS OF 'TRAGEDY (SYMPHONY X) will surely enjoy this retro treat. Actually, ICE AGE's THE GREAT DIVIDE is a very typical 90's sounding prog metal album. Nothing new or ground-breaking innovation with this release, which is why it really doesn't merit a masterpiece rating cause it is quite typical of 90's sounding prog metal, but it's still a quality listen. Enjoy powerful bass lines, incredible guitar solos, elite drumming and very rangy vocals. THE GREAT DIVIDE has it all, but it's all too familiar.'

4/5'

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 Liberation by ICE AGE album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.36 | 31 ratings

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Liberation
Ice Age Progressive Metal

Review by Isa
Prog Reviewer

1 stars |F| Power-prog meets AOR. And believe it or not, it's even cheesier than it sounds.

This is an old album that my brother purchased during his power-prog phase. To be honest, this album was a lot more depressing than it was displeasing to actually hear. I like a lot of (less idiotic) AOR, and I like a lot of (less cheesy) power-prog. The musicians are clearly quite technically skilled and have no fear of showing it off as much as possible. It is well produced, with some very creative compositional aspects that amount to nothing more than turgid self-indulgence.

This work in fact fulfills every negative stereotype of prog metal imaginable. Most of the album has an "epic" and an obnoxious, overly happy/inspired sound, and rarely departs from this sound. Almost every track has the same or similar formula: sixteenth-note guitar/keyboard runs and patters at a fast speed, incredibly cheesy string settings (though occasionally some cool synthesizer settings that work effectively), some crunching "awesome" guitar riff topped with pads and an "epic" melodic vocal line. It is so self- indulgent with new material popping up that only ever adds to the cheesiness already established. Moments expressing musical substance were few and far between, and quite literally so. It was all so overkill that half-way through the album I dreaded there being another track; I was crossing my fingers, hoping it was over. Twice I put myself through listening to the entire thing, and both times I came out thinking I couldn't bear to listen to another prog metal album again.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not one of those anti-prog-metal trolls that go around giving every prog metal band bad reviews (like some very prominent collabs on here). In fact those people should give this album a listen, and I'm sure they might change their views on the truly substantial prog-metal albums out there. Because this album really puts into perspective the "cheesiness" associated with prog-metal. Trust me, after hearing this, you'll never think Symphony X made even one cheesy track ever again. You just won't listen to Symphony X for a good long time after being so over-exposed to such "epic and sweeping" soloing and vocals. You might as well listen to Dragonforce, at least they don't pretend not to be pretentious.

Like with my masterpiece ratings, I rarely give a poor only for those albums that have little or nothing to offer in the substance of its composition. It's clear how much work went into the album: the musicianship, planning out the composition, the production, etc. This album could've been great, but it ended up nothing more than a load of pretentious, turgid, "prog"- metal hogwash. If Dragonforce and Styx happen to simultaneously be your two favorite bands, you'll love this album.

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 Liberation by ICE AGE album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.36 | 31 ratings

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Liberation
Ice Age Progressive Metal

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3.5 realy

The second offer of this excellent and yet short lived progressive metal band from USA is another great ex of how must sound a progressive metal album, powerful, intristing inventiv and damn tight musicianship. While I prefer the first one over thi, Liberation from 2001 is winner for sure. Great voice again made by Pincus, instrumental passages shines on each piece, so definetly a good album. Maybe the sound is not so fat as on first release but is ok in the end. Again long pieces, great progressive metal arrangements, tight passages where the keybords goes hand in hand with the rest , quite impresive overall, pieces like The Lhasa Road or When You're Ready are absolutly great, younger band must take some notes because Ice Agen kick ass all the way. So a good towards great, I still like the first one much more, is more pretentious and was a real bomb when was release and I think the better one from the two they release so far. Ice Ages was disbanded in 2004 but the members of the band were formed another outfit under the named Soulfractured where they play a more direct kind of metal, without that overly complex arrangements from the Ice Age fame. The mebers said that the chapter Ice Ages is closed now Soulfractured is the band that they work hard in the future, they also issued a selftitled album in 2006. Back to Ice Age, this short lived band made two of the best albums in prog metal in last 2 decades for sure, they will be remebered for the, specialy first album The great dived who realy kick major ass all the way, killer album IMO.

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 Liberation by ICE AGE album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.36 | 31 ratings

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Liberation
Ice Age Progressive Metal

Review by Ovidiu

4 stars Without any doubt,LIBERATION is that kind of album that can be considered to be a forgotten pearl,a musical jewel!I still cannot explain what was wrong with ICE AGE and why they didn't become more popular!They were signed by MAGNA CARTA label,the craddle for excellent prog bands like SHADOW GALLLERY,MAGELLAN,ENCHANT,LEMUR VOICE,ALTURA,DALI'S DILEMA..and they had all the arguments for becoming major!Everything on this second release of the band is far better to the excellent debut album THE GREAT DIVIDE!Very good production and wery well composed and structured songs,compositions with feeling and passionatelly performed by a very,very talented band!JOSH PINCUS has a very easy recognisible voice in a very pleasant accord,register!The musicianship is amazing,technically speaking they were almost perfect!Songs like WHEN YOU'RE READY and THE LHASA ROAD are so elaborated and made with mature creativity and the whole ensemble of the album is one of a work very professionally achieved!Pure prog metal and rock madness in the good sense!Great change of rhythms and many ideas in a single composition-that's the essence and attractivity of prog music!MUSICAL CAGES is a gorgeous instrumental and it's the perfect oportunity for the band to prove at what high degree of musicianship and virtuosity they were! Mindblowing indeed!They put such a high level of creativity to their albums and I was sure after this second fabulous release they will hit the third time with the most mature album possible! Unfortunatelly that didn't happened and I was so sad seing dissapear such a promissing band!!!But the 2 albums released are their legacy to the prog metal world and they deserve all our respect! 4,5 stars without any hesitation!

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 Liberation by ICE AGE album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.36 | 31 ratings

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Liberation
Ice Age Progressive Metal

Review by rollthebones

5 stars This is such a great band. I picked up Ice Age's 1st album "The Great Divide" 2nd hand for only $5 after seeing their name in a Magna Carta booklet, and wow. I was pleasantly surprised and excited that a new band was actually producing great progressive music!

Then i got this album. I am surprised that the majority of reviewers think that their debut was better than this follow-up, Liberation. I actually think it is a step forward, and even more consistent than the 1st album.

There is not a single forgettable melody on this album, save for perhaps a tiny bit of "To Say Goodbye Pt. III". Everything else is just beautifully constructed --- the musicians are very proficient, guitarist Jimmy Pappas is disciplined, only displaying technical ability when it needs it. The singer is unique; might take a bit of getting used to, but after a few listens it really grew on me. Singing is theatrical, kind of similar to Damian Wilson (Threshold) and Dennis DeYoung.

Another thing I really like -- the song structures are set out as a mix between either short 1-2 min songs and 6-8 min ones. It sets a nice atmosphere and flows well as an album. Lyrics are thought-provoking too.

Anyway, the music is performed without falling into the heavier trend of recent progressive music; Ice Age have the perfect balance, only a slight metal leaning.

Check it out, support this underrated band.

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 The Great Divide by ICE AGE album cover Studio Album, 1999
4.00 | 60 ratings

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The Great Divide
Ice Age Progressive Metal

Review by HammerOfPink

4 stars This is a great album! 4 stars out of 5. While it's not a super landmark, it's still extremely enjoyable.

This band is very promising, seeing such an incredibly diversity on their debut album. Ice Age has a wide range of influences, but it also combines it with completely original sound that I've heard nowhere else. It's definitely one of those Better progressive metal bands that have come out. I've heard lots of bands that consider themselves prog metal, but in reality a lot of them seem to be Dream Theater wanna-bes. Ice Age has a wonderfully progressive feel to them, adding in an age of surrealism. I don't know what to call that style, one with surreal sounding music, I guess it's ambient, but it's the kind of stuff that takes you to other places, like Pink Floyd's Echoes, Dream Theater's Blind Faith and Yes's Gates of Delirium.

That is definitely one of my favourite parts of Ice Age. I cannot wait until they evolve into a more mature, well rounded band, because this debut has LOTS of promise, and goes to show that Ice Age will probably become a fine example of prog art in the next generation.

Great album, go ahead and buy it. =)

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 Liberation by ICE AGE album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.36 | 31 ratings

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Liberation
Ice Age Progressive Metal

Review by Sachis

4 stars FLOWERS ON THE LHASA ROAD!

Great band! ICE AGE is a band formed by four excellent prog metal musicians. Especially, I noticed guitarist Jimmy Pappas and keyboardist/vocalist Josh Pincus. This band is, IMO, still so unknown, but the two albums they had made are in front of progressive metal music. Put the hand on it and make sure of it! When I first listened to this band, I never realized the quintessence of progressive metal gathered in around one hour of audition. For me, it was a nice surprise!!! Really! Liberation followed the great success and the same line The Great Divide did 2 years ago. Excellent sound, professional musical textures and Pincus's voice is one of the best I ever heard in metal music (heavy sometimes, but so warm on e.g. When you're ready). Songs are as complex and epic as they are on the first album and the same thing with the lyrics. This album does not stand at he same level with Great Divide (which is for me a masterpiece) only because of a little lack of inspiration and, I would say, a little percentage of flatness in the second part of the album (e.g. To say good-bye Part III isn't high enough like the first 2 parts from the first album and the instrumental track-Musical cages-is quite good, but in comparison with Spare chicken parts is a bit modest). Basically, heavy parts are splendid combined with acoustic guitars and relaxing keyboards in a perfect unity. Well-done again for the band ! If you like DREAM THEATER, KANSAS, SPOCK'S BEARD, you'd like ICE AGE!

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 Liberation by ICE AGE album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.36 | 31 ratings

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Liberation
Ice Age Progressive Metal

Review by progrules
Prog Reviewer

4 stars For those who haven't read my previous review for this band: it's unbelievable that such a high quality prog metal band is so little known (or at least reviewed). So again I have to say: wake up, progmetallists of this website and do your job ! This band absolutely deserves that.

So, got that off my chest, now I can do my own review. Liberation is the successor of Great Divide, one of the few in prog history that got my highest reward: 5 stars (and: totally deserved). The successor has proved to be very worthy for this bands reputation. It's another excellent effort and I wanted to review it for a long time but problem is the often occurring dilemma for the 4 or 5 star rating. I mean this must be at least the 20th case in which this problem is causing me headaches what to do. This is thus another plead for the half-star ratingpossibility that would end this pressing problem.

On this fantastic release I can detect at least 5 great songs, only downside is they can't quite match up with the best tracks of their debut. So that explains my doubts about the 4 or 5 star rating. I would do them a bit wrong with 4 stars, but another 5 would probably be a little overdone. So here we go again, it will be 4 because of the lacking oftrue masterpiece status but I'm very unhappy about it !

Ice Age is a high quality and very technical prog metal band producing very good compositions. The overall final judgement for this band is that it's one of the best in this department, to me absolutely a match for Dream Theater and Symphony X although the similarity with these bands isn't really obvious.

Best tracks on the album are: The Lhasa Road, Musical Cages and To say goodbye pt.3

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 The Great Divide by ICE AGE album cover Studio Album, 1999
4.00 | 60 ratings

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The Great Divide
Ice Age Progressive Metal

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I'm one of the select few who feels that their second album "Liberation" is as good as this their debut. Again the playing ability of this band is extremely high, it's the vocals that still bother me when he really lets go. He is a theatrical singer with a great range, just not my cup of tea, although songs like "Because Of You" and One Look Away" where he sings normally, I like a lot. The cover art is fantastic ! The length of this album at almost 75 minutes begs the question : Why ?

"Perpetual Child" opens heavily with drums and bass before synths arrive. Scorching guitar 1 1/2 minutes in, and vocals a minute later as the song calms down. It does pick back up with aggressive vocals. I lke the guitar 7 1/2 minutes in. "Sleepwalker" features those abrasive vocals i'm not a fan of. The guitar melodies are relentless with a ripping solo before 3 minutes. "Join" has a more uplifting sound with vocal melodies. This is contrasted with the more passionate vocals with a fuller sound. I like the mellow passages better. "Spare Chicken Parts" is an instrumental and my second favourite song. It opens with a few words (clucks) from a chicken. This one is all over the place including a drum solo. Quite the display though. "Because Of You" is another fav of mine. It's a bright, catchy tune with the guitar grinding away.

"The Bottom Line" has some impressive guitar 2 1/2 & 4 minutes in. Not a fan of this one though. "Ice Age" opens with spacey sounds, and once it gets going there are lots of synths and drums with tempo shifts a plenty. "One Look Away" is my favourite song, a cool, mellow track with synths and piano. Tasteful guitar 2 minutes in. Check out the guitar that goes on and on after 4 minutes. This is such an uplifting song and the lyrics are a must read. "Miles To Go" opens with some great guitar. A synth solo before 1 1/2 minutes. I like the sound a minute later when it calms down. More great guitar 4 minutes in. "To Say Goodbye" is divided into 2 parts. Part 1 "Worthless Words" is a rocking instrumental that opens with some fast paced piano melodies. Part 2 "On Our Way" has some good crunch to it, although the climate changes often. Good song.

3.5 stars. It's hard not to be impressed with this band and this recording. Well done !

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 Liberation by ICE AGE album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.36 | 31 ratings

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Liberation
Ice Age Progressive Metal

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3.5 stars. I feel a little guilty in not giving this album 4 stars because there are so many great moments on it. I'm not a big fan of the vocals that do sound like Dennis DeYoung at times. He has a powerful voice but I don't like the tone when he sings loudly. The lyrics which I don't usually take much notice of are very impressive. It's not often that i'll read the words of all the songs, but I did because they are that good. Lots of keyboard and guitar solos on this one as well.

"The Lhasa Road (No Surrender)" is a good opener that features the bands technical ability. Nice guitar solo 2 1/2 minutes in but an even better one 4 minutes later. The bass and drum work late is a highlight as well. "March Of The Red Dragon" is just over a minute of drums and synths that blends into "The Blood Of Ages". It turns heavy rather quickly until the vocals come in. This contrast continues. I really like the beautiful guitar solo that comes after the mellow passage 5 minutes in. This and "When Your Ready" are my two favourite tracks. "A Thousand Years" opens with some nice guitar. The keys are also impressive after 3 minutes. Check out the guitar to end the song. "When Your Ready" is simply gorgeous for the first 2 minutes before it becomes more powerful. The original melody does return 6 1/2 minutes in. This is the longest song at almost 9 minutes.

"Musical Cages" opens with some great sounding guitar that goes on for 2 1/2 minutes and then the piano takes over. Some riffing follows before we get a keyboard solo. Nice bass lines ! The guitar is very active as well. Great instrumental. "Monolith" is a short acoustic guitar piece with a Spanish flavour. "The Guardian Of Forever" opens sounding like FATES WARNING so i'm already won over. It becomes fairly light though before getting heavy again. "Howl" is another short instrumental. It opens with synths but the guitar is the star of this show. Nice. It blends into "The Wolf" which becomes an uptempo song with passionate vocals. Some beautiful guitar after 2 minutes. "To Say Goodbye,Part III: Still Here" has some really uplifting moments on it. Almost Neo sounding with uptempo synth runs. Good track. "Tong-Len" is another short instrumental. It opens with Eastern sounds before the piano takes over. Very tasteful and peaceful closing track.

I'm looking forward to hearing their debut that everyone seems to like better than this one. I can recommend this one heartily to anyone who is into melodic Prog-Metal.

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