A personal view on music, all kinds of music.
Thoughts: I’ve heard about the American band Izz back in the year of 2009 when I was contacted by the Press Manager of the band. That year they released their album The Darkened Room (2009). I didn’t know at the time, but that album was the first part of a trilogy. Three years later they released the second part of their story under the name Crush Of Night (2012). This album is quite special to the band, since they got the legendary Gary Green (Gentle Giant guitarist) to play in 2 of the songs.
One of the things that I like in Izz since the beginning is the bass lines that John Galgano brings to their music, always clever. Also, the vocals are here too, at this point a trade mark of the band. It’s quite normal on their albums to hear two voices at the same time, sometimes even three, which is a very original feature of the band.
‘You’ve Got A Time’ is the opening track and it’s a typical Izz track, superb quality with a little pop accent. The second, ‘Words And Miracles’ is more complex in the beginning. Lots of guitars including the mentioned Gary Green participation and great vocals by Tom Galgano (he’s also the keyboard man).
Anmarie Byrnes is the female voice on the track three, ‘Solid Ground’, but the electronics and the ‘blips & blops’ of the track bother me as hell! Especially because I know the track could be really better with a different arrangement.
To compensate for ‘Solid Ground’, Izz brings to the table the superb ‘Half The Way’, melodical and beautiful keyboard driven song. A great guitar solo by Paul Bremner is included!
In the sequence we have the ‘Crush Of Night Suite’, as the readers of Progshine already know I’m a fan of long songs, this is one of them, but unfortunately it was divided into two tracks. Together they spam over 26 minutes.
The Suite starts with ‘This Reality’ and a wonderful bass line by John Galgano. Around 3 minutes the electronics come along again, and it bothers me again, especially knowing the band has two drummers… I don’t think it fits their music at all.
The first part of the Suite is a bit weak in my opinion, it lacks the epic feeling that I know the band could deliver.
In the second part of ‘The Crush Of Night’ we have once again Gary Green as a Special Guest in the guitars, but the overall feeling continues to be not that good. To me the song doesn’t go anywhere, I know the band could do much better.
Only after the 9th minute of the song I could feel the real Izz in it, like I know they can be, which is kinda sad.
‘Almost Over’ finishes Crush Of Night (2012) with one more guest, Greg Meade on the guitar solo, a great bass line, nice doubled vocals and a nice riff. Not enough to make me feel that the album is worth a million listens. In fact, I feel a little bit disappointed, cause I really like the band.
My overall feeling about this new Izz album is that they could have done better! It’s a good album, but it’s not so remarkable as The Darkened Room (2009). Some pieces seem out of place, especially in the Suite.
I will wait with my best high hopes for the next album, that will finish the trilogy!
1. You’ve Got A Time (4’09)
2. Words And Miracles (7’17)
3. Solid Ground (6’01)
4. Half The Way (6’07)
Crush Of Night:
5. This Reality (13’32)
6. The Crush Of Night (13’18)
7. Almost Over (4’19)