Izz - My River Flows

Year of Release: 2005
Label: Doone Records
Catalog Number: DR5-669563
Format: CD
Total Time: 66:05:00

Hard hitting, pure rock 'n' roll opens this fourth IZZ album. With two female and two male vocalists in the band, for sure the vocal arrangements add an extra dimension to this seven-piece's output. It's that explosion of energy which sets the band apart from so many so called prog bands which in fact are not progressive at all yet rather regressive. Of course the band tackles seventies elements yet IZZ remains closer to the contemporary sound of rock rather than get their sound through vintage amps and mikes. "Late Night Salvation'"does contain a fair amount of rhythm changes and breaks whilst certain melodies can easily compete with the best in its field yet it very much remains a sound of today. The vocal harmonies tend to sound like Yes, Starcastle or Druid yet they suit the music ever so well. They most certainly don't drown into an overproduced arrangement and fit nicely in the music. Paul Bremner's guitar interventions most certainly add a lot of spice to the whole injecting maybe the most contemporary ingredient to the whole recipe. Adding a drum solo to the song however is a little over the top for my liking and should be restricted to live gigs only even when it concerns a damn good solo.

When compared to the likes of Glass Hammer, who, where line-up is concerned, comes rather close, IZZ probably is a little less symphonic and more direct than Glass Hammer adding some Echolyn wit to the whole. The almost ambient sounding "Deception" only almost contains the solitary vocals from Laura Meade here. The intro for the acoustic "Abby's Song" slightly contains CSN&Y magic, whilst it's most definitely the final piece, the epic "Deafening Silence" that is this album's highlight. Composed from six individual parts it really introduces lots of ideas whilst it also brings each individual to the fore. The synths make me think of a band like Fruitcake whilst the vocals in the beginning of the song I can clearly hear in my head sung by Sting. Sadly it's not although the vocals on the album are lifted by nice string sections. Stunning piano in combination with both female vocalists adds a certain mystique and sharpness to the whole. This is a piece of musical theatre which in combination with the right effects has to be a highlight when performed live.

After a certain "uncertainty" in the band's existence, it now finally looks like Izz is here to stay and they have most certainly composed enough original material to continue for many years to come. Especially the My River Flows material gives proof that Izz has gone for a much more mature approach by leaving enough room in the arrangements for every single contribution to shine in its own right. The fusion of electric and acoustic parts results in a very rich texture which keeps the attention from beginning till end. A song like "Anything I Can Dream" even contains a huge dose of Beatles elements turning into a "happy" tune. So in all there's something for everyone turning My River Flows into one of the best all-round prog releases of 2005. Maybe it IZZ even the very best!

My River Flows (5:28) / Late Night Salvation (12:16) / Rose Colored Lenses (3:40) / Deception (7:17) / Crossfire (8:33) / Anything I Can Dream (3:22) / Abby's Song (3:48) / Deafening Silence (21:36)

Tom Galgano - keyboards, vocals
Paul Bremner - electric and acoustic guitar
Brian Coralian - electronic and acoustic percussion
Greg DiMiceli - acoustic drums, percussion
John Galgano - bass, acoustic and electric guitar, vocals, keyboards

Also featuring:

Anmarie Byrnes - vocals
Laura Meade - vocals

Sliver Of A Sun (1998)
I Move (2002)
Ampersand (2004)
My River Flows (2005)
Live At NEARfest (2007)
The Darkened Room (2009)
"Places To Hide" (2009)
"Red Rain" (2011)
Crush Of Night (2012)
Everlasting Instant (2015)
Ampersand Vol 2 (2016)

Izz Live (DVD) (2011)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

Added: March 18th 2006
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website: www.izznet.com
Hits: 1389
Language: english


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