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Izz - My River Flows CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.88 | 117 ratings

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4 stars Perhaps the most melodically savvy modern prog act return with an album awash with sparkling melodies. But they back it up with some fiery playing as well. Beatle-esque tunes and harmonies are melded with instrumental prowes that will blow your socks off. This, for me is a much more cohesive effort than their previous full studio outing 'I Move'. It may lack some of the quirky charm of that record but it does have a more directed feel, a solidity of ambition and conception that drives all the way through, at least until we reach the final track. Danbo has already mentioned that the big epic, 'Deafening Silence' is something of a bridge too far for Izz, and, unfortunately, I have to agree. A 20-odd minute piece is a noble aspiration for any band but here we've got and odd 20 minutes. There are passages that are stunning, some great melodies tucked in there. But there is way too much padding, extraneous material that gets in the way. They have the distinct feel of crude welds, links and bridges forced into place to join disparate elements. It doesn't work. Or rather, it doesn't work as a whole. There are a couple of great songs in there but maybe two great 6 minute affairs. It's too big a stretch. Don't let it piut you off though. There are great bits in that song and if wading through the undergrowth surrounding them feels a bit of a project then just scroll back to the other seven tracks. Kicking off with the hard rock of the title track, which I like a lot, if for nothing other than it's boldness as an opening statement, the unfolds the standout track of the album on track 2. Kicking off with cycling, razor sharp guitar pattern, Late Night Salvation is a wonderfully full tune, 12 minutes of guitar pyrotechnics, a killer melody and some stunning interplay. Paul Bremner's solo midway through is a blistering display and the band feeds off his energy beautifully, particularly the twin drummers, who then get to showcase their own chops. It's a brilliant track. The other standouts for me are 'Crossfire', with its incredibly catchy Beatlesy harmonies, delicate mid-section before busting into another killer guitar part courtesy of Bremer, The (again) Fabs-sounding harmonies of Anything I Can Dream and the sweet acoustic workout of Abby's Song. But for sheer faultless construction I have to go for Crossfire, it's in the top five prog songs I heard in 05. A very accomplished record that will grab you immediately with the strength of the melodies but reward long after that via the musical cleverness and ability on show.
arcer | 4/5 |


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