Ice Age - Liberation
Artist: Ice Age
Label: Magna Carta (www.magnacarta.net)
Genre: Progressive Rock
Ice Age begins a near rock and roll meltdown with "Liberation." The word progressive probably will continue to be connected with this group regardless of how much they evolve. I realize that there are double meanings to words; in this case it applies in a literal sense figuratively and musically. This is a progressive rock group, and in more ways than can be counted.
This is Ice Age's second album. Although I didn't have the opportunity to hear their first effort, I do know that what I heard on this CD is a remarkable endeavor, and it definitely qualifies as a progression in musicianship, and liberation in a personal sense for the group. They are not so easily defined by sound or genre, in the same context, what they create quantifies the emancipation that they experience through the music.
Ice Age is a cohesive unit, firing on all four cylinders. By grabbing the bull by the horns, they project confidence and strength in every song. The most exciting aspect of music like this is the way it builds to a powerful and sweeping crescendo, then at a moments noticeÖ it's able to turn right around and reveal tenderness and beauty. That is no easy task to accomplish within one song. Ice Age does it regularly, with ease and succinctness.
For me, it's easy to get totally absorbed in the changing tides of emotion reflected in the music, and all the images it creates. I can also grasp how symbolic the cover of the CD is. I interpret the picture as a psychological window. What the image suggests, is that you can get the monkey of your back (fear) and let yourself out of the self-imposed prison in your mind. Viva! Liberation!
Lead singer Josh Pincus (vocal, keyboards) has a distinct likeness to Dennis DeYoung (Styx) in his vocal style. Jimmy Pincus (guitars) thrashes, wails, and cuts away slices of masterful guitar work, while Hal Apponte (drums and percussion) and Arron DiCesare (bass) are an ominous rhythm section. The two that so expertly hold down the back beat, open the gates for this musical juggernaut to explode during "The Lhasa Road (No Surrender), which is over eight minutes in length. "When Your Ready", "The Guardian Forever", "To Say Goodbye, Part III: Still Here" are equal to the task as well, in regards to length and song structure. "Blood of Ages" takes another turn, and borders on straight ahead metal, but it's so satisfying.
This is majestic and proud music. It has the spirit and freedom of rock and roll shinning all the way through.
1.The Lhasa Road (No Surrender)
2. March Of The Red Dragon
3. The Blood Of Ages
4. A Thousand Years
5. When You're Ready
6. Musical Cages
8. The Guardian Of Forever
10. The Wolf
11. To Say Goodbye, Part III: Still Here