Ice Age - 'Join' (4-song demo)


Year of Release: 1998
Label: n/a
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 00:00:00

It was at Powermad when I first heard this band. The music being played was the Powermad '97 compilation disc, over and over again ... every time the song "Join" came on, I went on a mission to find out who this band was... Much to my dismay, I learned too late that the band had left before playing their set ... I was pretty much depressed until Ken Golden couldn't stand to hear me whining and complaining anymore, and reached into his pocket and handed me the only Ice Age cassette tape to be found anywhere ... I've since been digging this band, and keeping vigil on the progress of their upcoming disc ... The band has since sent me a ton of demos, which lots of people now have in their hands, and I am told that the 4 songs may or not be on the upcoming release ...

In the meantime, the band describes themselves as Progressive, Dramatic, Theatrical Rock ... this is one description that finally fits what we are being told a band actually sounds like ...

The band is a keyboard / guitar driven band, and sets out to make some "light Prog Rock just missing the metal mark" type music ... the guitars aren't too heavy in the mix, which probably prevents most of this from being metal, but then again, the band does not profess to be a metal band ...

THE STYLE:

As stated, this is a mix of progressive hard rock ... not progressive rock in the sense of the genre which houses such bands as King Crimson, or maybe Gentle Giant or the true Prog Rock bands ... instead, the word "rock" here is used to describe the lighter feeling of the music, because if they decided to turn up the guitars at any moment, this band could easily be considered metal ... I've seen descriptors of this band like "Styx meets Dream Theater," "a Progressive Styx," to some "Progressive U2" ... hey, when the music is played and sounds as good as this does, the genre becomes secondary to me, but if I had to be pinned down to give an idea of what they sound like, those descriptors might bein the ball park except for the U2 similarities ... I hear no U2 in this band at all ... The songs are mostly a mix of warm, melodic, keyboard / guitar tunes, which seem to want to head in some direction, but the band quickly pulls out the progressive guns and injects each of their tunes with some nice twists and turns along the way to keep things interesting ... The songs themselves are VERY warm, and don't let those soft, acoustic piano intros fool you, because very shortly the guitar wants its turn and becomes part of the songs very quickly ... the most ineteresting thing about this band, is their ability to write a melodic song, while maintaining their progressive style ... Very few bands take this approach, and its a nice change to see bands on the lighter side of metal taking this approach ... The Quest comes to mind instantly when I say this ... not metal, but very progressive and catchy, something that is hard to mix up these days ...

The highlight of this band (for me), is the keyboard / vocalist Josh Pincus ... providing the dramatic keyboard sound as the basis, he also has one hell of a voice ... He does not agree with this statement, and he probably downright resents it, but Josh sounds uncannily like Dennis DeYoung of Styx ... others have said this as well, and it's hard not to notice the similarities in the tones ... personally, I am a big Styx fan, and I could listen to Dennis DeYoung sing me church hymns all day and I would enjoy it ... whether or not you like Dennis DeYoung will determine if you like Josh's voice ... as I said, I am saying this as a HUGE compliment to Josh, as his voice makes this disc come alive with emotion and passion. He obviously believes in what he is singing, and sings it with such conviction and grace, you can't help but say "dramatic" over and over again in your head ... I believe this is where the "dramatic" part of their descriptor comes into play ... Like DeYoung, Josh Pincus has one of those voices that I could listen to sing scales all day and enjoy the hell out of it. His keyboards give the music that touch of personality, beauty and warmth ... from piano, to synths, he creates the feeling behind this band's music in a way that just draws you in and makes you keep playing the songs over and over again ...

The other instruments stand out as well, and another interesting thing about this band is the guitarist.... he is not quite up in the mix, but again this is a demo..... he has all the makings and qualities of a "metal" guitarist, but it is quite interesting how he manages not to dominate the sound of the music, as he surely could crank it up and turn this band into a "metal" band.... but thats not what this band is about... the band is into making good, quality, melodic, catchy songs that have feeling and meaning, and the lyrical content goes hand in hand with the dramatic music that Ice Age is all about......

I just received a new song from the band called "Ice Age" ... interestingly enough, it is heavier and punchier than the material on the demo ... and it only goes to show that this band can let loose when they want to, but are content to concentrate on the songwriting instead of trying to shape a sound to be placed into a genre ... my hats off to these guys ... I am really anxious to hear what these guys sound like on disc. With the right production, this band has a promising future ... with an emphasis on warm and melodic, those looking for that super heavy, crunchy power metal, need not apply here ... however, those who don't mind turning down the guitar DBs a bit and love keyboard-driven music with superb vocals that front these catchy tunes will love this band.....

Aug 2005: While this cassette is not available, their material afterwards is... After Liberation, it seems the band has decided to move away from their progginess... represented by the 2004 EP... -ed.


Tracklisting:
n/a

Musicians:
Jimmy Pappas - guitars
Arron DiCesare - bass
Josh Pincus - vocals and keyboards
Hal Aponte - drums and percussion

Discography:
'Join' (1998?) (demo)
The Great Divide (1999)
Liberation (2001)
Little Bird (ep) (2004)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

Added: July 25th 1999
Reviewer: Larry "LarryD" Daglieri

Artist website: www.ice-age.com
Hits: 955
Language: english

  

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