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I.C.U. - Now And Here CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.78 | 31 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
3 stars ICU(no periods between the letters) were a six piece band out of Germany, listed here under Symphonic but Neo-Prog is what I hear for the most part. I did think of NO NAME as Bogdan mentions in his review and this is a concept album with lyrics in English. We do get some female vocals from the flautist but male vocals dominate and they're okay but nothing more. This hour of music was released in 1995.

"One Life" opens with atmosphere as acoustic guitar and flute take over. Sounds like mellotron after 2 minutes then reserved male vocals arrive before 3 minutes. A beat kicks in then a full sound as the vocals turn more passionate. Guitar a minute later before an atmospheric calm arrives 6 minutes in without vocals. Picked guitar and vocals take over a minute later then the tempo picks up. I like this. Another calm then the vocals return 10 minutes in. It kicks back in with some nice bass and synth work.

"Another Life" opens with organ then it kicks in with some punchy drumming and much more. The guitar comes in over the top then female vocals before 2 1/2 minutes as male vocals join in then take over. Keys and drums stand out then the guitar soars over top. Themes are repeated. I like the dark calm with spoken words 4 1/2 minutes in. It builds back to a full sound with vocals. Love the atmosphere after 9 1/2 minutes.

"The Same Old Way" opens with flute and lots of depth. Acoustic guitar plays over top as reserved male vocals join in. A good laid back tune. "Two Steps Ahead Of Time" features lots of keys early on then we get a bass solo 1 1/2 minutes in which signals the start of a full sound. Processed vocals after 2 minutes. I like the bass and drums when the vocals step aside briefly. It's fairly powerful here, at least for this band but then it settles back after 5 1/2 minutes.

"A Pair Of Hands" is my favourite song on here. Nice guitar and bass to start, in fact really nice as it builds. Vocals 1 1/2 minutes in as the sound changes some. This is good. I like when it settles back after 2 minutes with atmosphere, bass and guitar as the vocals return. Themes are repeated.

"Challenge Of The Unknown" opens with atmosphere followed by a scream and voices as the atmosphere continues. Acoustic guitar then reserved vocals join in. Organ replaces the acoustic guitar until the electric guitar arrives after 4 minutes. Synths swirl 6 minutes in, riffs also arrive as the tempo picks up. It settles back followed by soaring guitar leads as the vocals step aside to the end.

"In Every Stranger's Eyes" starts with atmosphere before keys and vocals arrive around a minute in this pastoral passage. It does turn fuller after 2 minutes with the guitar replacing the vocals. Vocals are back a minute later as the tempo picks up. Catchy stuff and lots of synths too as this plays out. Atmosphere and whales? ends it.

A good album for sure and for my tastes 3 stars is the right rating.

Mellotron Storm | 3/5 |


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