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Izz Don't Panic album cover
3.91 | 241 ratings | 5 reviews | 26% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2019

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Don't Panic (4:25)
2. 42 (18:41)
3. Six String Theory (2:07)
4. Moment Of Inertia (9:46)
5. Age Of Stars (9:00)

Total time: 43:59

Line-up / Musicians

- Anmarie Byrnes / vocals
- Laura Meade / vocals
- Paul Bremner / electric & acoustic guitars
- Tom Galgano / keyboards, vocals, production & mixing
- John Galgano / bass, electric & acoustic guitars, ukulele, keyboards, vocals
- Brian Coralian / acoustic & e-drums
- Greg DiMiceli / drums, percussion

Releases information

Artwork: Timothy Mattaliano

CD Doone Records ‎- DR16-669563 (2019, US)

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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IZZ Don't Panic ratings distribution

(241 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(26%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(41%)
Good, but non-essential (22%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

IZZ Don't Panic reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
5 stars "Izz" is a symphonic prog band from New York founded in 1996 by Tom and John Galgano (yes they are brothers). Over the years, they have received a lot of positive response from critics and fans alike. Since 1999, they have released 9 full length studio albums and a live album. Their 9th studio album is called "Don't Panic" and was released in May of 2019. The line-up hasn't changed much over the years as both Tom (keyboards, vocals, production and mixing) and John (bass, guitars, ukulele, keyboards and vocals) still remain as do Paul Bremner on guitars; Brian Coralian on acoustic and e-drums and Greg DiMiceli on drums and percussion. There are also two other vocalists that joined the band later; Anmarie Byrnes and Laura Meade. "Don't Panic" has 5 tracks and has a total run time of 44 minutes.

The album starts with the title track "Don't Panic". After some effects, wordless vocals start along with a definite progressive flair. The music is definitely leaning towards the symphonic sound with a mix of male and female vocals, sounding almost like "Pure Reason Revolution" at their best, but with a more defined sound with a slight jazz edge. The individual instruments are all well mixed so that you can hear everything going on, and the melodies are definitely interesting and catchy with some short attention grabbing riffs. This track is a standard length of just over four minutes, but it does well to establish the bands sound to the listener.

After this, we go right to an epic 18 minute track entitled "42". (Now it is starting to become clear where their inspiration for this album lies especially if you are a Douglas Adams fan). There is a nice build up to a guitar and bass heavy track supported by choral effects on the synth. This has a definite likeness to "Starcastle" and "Yes" with the instrumental beginning, with its cheery keyboards and tricky bass lines, also in the guitar passages and it's symphonic sound and the slight jazz leanings. I'm really liking this sound. Just before 4 minutes, things slow down to a moderate rhythm for a little while, then intensity builds in the synth and bass patterns, then the harmonized female vocals come in followed later by male vocals. The vocal melodies are definitely not the standard verse and chorus pattern, it is non-repetitive, but it is still melodic. After 7 minutes, a guitar-led passage is followed by a synth melody which is developed to that symphonic style. Complex instrumental changes continue with two acoustic guitars playing countermelodies before returning to the original progressive theme and then another guitar solo built on top of that with the nice heavy bass line playing along supported by synths. Vocals are brought back in after 10 minutes. Again, melodies change as needed by the lyrics and male and female vocals are used interchangeably making this music very dynamic and interesting. After 15 minutes, we get a cheery organ solo that later adds a guitar playing along with the same melody and later builds off if it. This is an 18 minute track that just speeds right by because it is so good!

After this comes a short track called "Six String Theory". This is a nice acoustic solo that is a nice peaceful break. This is followed by the instrumental "Moment of Inertia" which has a 9 minute run time. This continues in a softer style with a rhapsodic piano intro which is later joined by the guitar which doubles the melody. Atmospheric synths build tension and a sudden outburst from the drums bring in a heavy guitar riff. A second guitar then improvises over this with a rousing solo. Tempos shift and melodies and riffs replace each other as the lead guitar keeps things together while the support create interesting progressive shifts. The complexity and heaviness of this track is sort of unexpected, but definitely welcome. At 5 minutes, this stops and you hear laughter in the background. A slower rhythm takes over making for a steadier pattern as the synths and keys take the center stage for some more excellent music. Awesome! In this track, all semblance to the previously mentioned bands is gone and traded for a darker and heavier sound, but still quite amazing. Again, this is over too soon as those 9 minutes speed by.

The last track also nears the 10 minute mark. This one is called "Age of Stars" and it starts off with a softer feel, but a heavy bass. Vocals start off quickly and sound a bit menacing at first, but the vibes brighten things up along with the higher vocals when they come in. Soon, things pick up with more progressiveness and counter harmonies in the vocals. Meters and melodies change as it continues and the vocals keep going with short instrumental flourishes between the lyrical lines. After the vocals stop, there are some nice instrumental solos shared by both electric and acoustic guitars and synths. There is another big shift in melody and tone as the vocal melodies become a bit more complex with each vocalist singing different lines and then a sudden synth solo comes in. Vocals come back in and work towards a finale that brings the entire album together.

This album is quite impressive, and since I can speak first hand that it is an excellent entry point for those wanting to explore this music, since it is the first album I have heard from them. I know I will be looking into more of their albums if they are as great as this is. The music is top-notch progressive music with non-standard patterns, changing meters and melodies, and complex themes. The vocal harmonies are excellent and spot on. Even when there are no harmonies, the singers are strong enough to carry the lyrics forward. Unlike similar bands like those I mentioned earlier, the vocalists are much stronger which works even more to this band's advantage. This album is excellent and is definitely the best symphonic prog album released this year. Definitely recommended to symphonic prog and to all prog lovers.

Review by kev rowland
5 stars One of the downsides of being known as a reviewer who keeps scribbling words week after week, year after year (or in my case decade after decade), is that I rarely seek out additional music to listen to apart from what I have been sent. Indeed, I only grab a fraction of what is made available to me, and I am still miles behind where I like to be in terms of lead time. Yes, it's a nice problem to have, and I am very fortunate indeed, but there are times when it is something of a pain, which brings me to Izz. This is their ninth album yet is only the second of theirs I have written about, which means my musical experience is sadly lacking indeed as this is very special. The only other album I have heard of theirs is 2009's 'The Darkened Room' which I raved over, and here some ten years later I am going to be saying exactly the same. This is their ninth studio album, and five of the seven members were involved in the debut 20 years ago, and six were involved in 'The Darkened Room' ten years ago, so their stability is superb, and it shows in the music they are playing.

This is their third album with this line-up, which features no less than four singers and two drummers, and comprises Paul Bremner (electric and acoustic guitars), Anmarie Byrnes (vocals), Brian Coralian (electronic and acoustic drums and percussion), Greg DiMiceli (acoustic drums and percussion), John Galgano (bass guitar, electric and acoustic guitar, vocals), Tom Galgano (keyboards, vocals) and 'new girl' Laura Meade (vocals). What really strikes the listener is the complex simplicity, or is it simple complexity, of what is being presented. It is simple because it is incredibly accessible, an album it is possible to fully enjoy with a smile on the face the very first time it is played, yet these guys are creating arrangements which are massively over the top. This really comes to bear in the epic '42' which is nearly 19 minutes long, where everyone has their chance to shine. Four singers weaving harmonies, but they move through permutations so everyone has a chance to take the lead, and while Anmarie and Laura may be duetting, it is never quite as straightforward as that.

There are times when they come across as an Americanised version of Gentle Giant, and indeed guitarist Gary Green has been involved with the band in the past, while on the acoustic 'Six String Theory' (musical earwash following the intricate epic) Paul shows he is influenced very much by both Steves' Howe and Hackett. Listen to Tom swirling piano at the beginning of 'Moment of Inertia' and it is classic Wakeman, yet while these guys have been influenced by all those acts and others, they are creating modern progressive rock music which combines elements of all these and brings in so much more. The last time I reviewed Izz I said I would seek out more of their albums to find out what they have been doing and I really must. For anyone who wants their arrangements to be over the top yet to be able to easily understand what is happening, brought together with intricate melodies and superb vocals, then you too need to seek out Izz.

Review by friso
3 stars This album by the American group IZZ has risen to the top of 2019's charts, which is easy to understand. That is, if you are a YES fan.

To me that represents playing lots of notes without creating any potent harmonies or melodies that have a story to tell. Like, for instance, the frantic opening of 'Close to the Edge'. To others these intricate noodling progressions might represent progressive rock at its best. The YES influences are almost everywhere, even influencing the vocals harmonies (the band has multiple singers) that are often quite flat as a result. The lyrics are given a dominant place in the music and having read them (on the lyrical sheet of the vinyl) I must admit I can't quite make up what they are even supposed to mean. As if they refer to some 'inside' knowlegde, for instance with the significance of the number '42' - which also is the title of the eighteen minute centerpiece. The acoustic piece 'Six String Theory' has a nice ring to it, but I fail to see how it fits in with this otherwise fully electric album.

Having said this, there are also some Gentle Giant influences on display, which I like. Furthermore, the killer instrumental track 'Moment of Inertia' on side two ought to impress listeners of all progressive traditions. The track sounds nothing like the others and sees the band building up nice amounts of energy. The final song 'Age of the Stars' sounds like a continuation and conclusion of the epic ('42') of the album. The 'Don't panic, don't panic' vocals are a rather dull ending section and the album finished abruptly.

The production of this album sounds a bit flat, but that might also be because of a rather poor vinyl pressing (which I noticed happening before with a Major Parkinson vinyl). Perhaps cd / digital sound better. I was thinking about rating this two stars, but the album was saved by the ten minutes of 'Moment of Inertia' - which I do like.

Latest members reviews

4 stars A spectacular tribute to Yes While I could appreciate the Yes influence in their previous works, it was always accompanied with others such as Rush, Gentle giant or even The dear hunter. The difference here is that his album could have been done by Yes themselves, and to me this is always a g ... (read more)

Report this review (#2343160) | Posted by Soul2Create | Monday, March 16, 2020 | Review Permanlink

4 stars UPDATE INTERESTING NEW PROG IZZ is a New York based prog formation that was founded by the brothers Tom and John Galgano in the mid-Nineties, between 1998 and 2019 IZZ released a serie of studio ? and live albums, this review is about their latest CD entitled Don't Panic, from 2019. 1. Don ... (read more)

Report this review (#2217759) | Posted by TenYearsAfter | Monday, June 3, 2019 | Review Permanlink

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