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Ice Age (The Band) -Album: The GReat Divide

Hey all,

I decided to take a chance on this album/band and found myself surprisingly rewarded for my cash investment. This is very high quality prog-metal with more emphasis on the prog part than most other bands in this genre. That isn't to say they can't bring the heavy when they need to because they certainly can.

Instrumentally this band is really talented and could give the members of Dream Theater or Fates Warning a good run for the money. The guitar player has some great chops and a large variety of styles. Take the song Join where in the first minute he uses a guitar tone similar to Steve Morse then plays a rhythm line than sounds like Andy Summers. For Miles to Go he starts off with a great "ode to 70's hard rock" intro riff that sounds eerily similar to Jim McCarty (of Cactus fame). The keyboard player has a style that borrows more heavily from Jazz Fusion, especially the first keyboard solo in Miles to Go which reminds me a bit of Jim Beard. The drummer and bassist are equally skilled offering an extensive range of styles and textures. The singer / keyboardist is an interesting component. His vocal style is definitely on the unique side and it might not suit everyone's taste. He uses an operatic approach to the vocals. He has a gruff, bassy sound and can snarl at times. You get used to it after a while, especially because the music is so darn good.

I definitely wouldn't call these guys Dream Theater clones. They definitely have their own style and sound. Take a listen to the standout instrumental Spare Chicken Parts. This track just burns from the get go. They change tempos, styles, and time signatures frequently. Not to the point of schizophrenia, but they constantly keep it interesting. It's a real showcase for guitarist Jimmy Pappas to both shred and play very melodic solos. This easily outclasses all the DT instrumentals, and I'm a huge DT fan.

At over 74min, there's just a myriad of things to enjoy about this album. I'd recommend this to anyone that likes the sound sample track and likes their prog- metal with a higher recommended daily allowance of prog.

Unfortunately, the band has since changed names and musical styles opting for a more commercial sound and sales capacity.

Well, take it easy.........

Keep it real.................
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