Exposé Online banner

Ice — The Saga
(Musea FGBG 4625.AR, 2006, CD)

by Paul Hightower, Published 2007-03-01

The Saga Cover art

Dutch proggers Ice are a spin-off from the outfit Maryson who released a couple albums guided by the writings and keyboards of W.J. Maryson (aka Wim Stolk). The good news is that if you liked what Maryson had to offer, you’ll be very pleased with The Saga. The album is a sci-fi/fantasy concept piece told through music and lyrics much like the Maryson albums, which begs the question, what was behind Stolk’s split if the rest of the band have continued on as if nothing has really changed? The band ply predictable territory for their ilk: well-executed and melodic symphonic prog with liberal doses of Saga, Camel circa Dust and Dreams and post-Gabriel Genesis. Instrumentally the songs incorporate moments of acoustic tranquility though for the most part they embrace electric prog rock replete with heroic lead guitar lines, crunchy power chords, grinding (digital) organ and twiddly synths. Sometimes they’re playing a bit too hard at the “if only Genesis had stayed a prog band through the 80s” game but for this sort of thing they are quite good. Vocalist Hein van den Broek is often the focal point of the songs though keyboard player Ardie Westdijk and guitarist Chris van Hoogdalem chew scenery with abandon as well. Hoogdalem was the bright spot in Maryson and it’s good to have him back in action. There seems to be a bottomless demand for this brand of prog rock and Ice are as capable of satisfying it as anyone these days.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 34, 2006 releases

Related artist(s): Ice

Latest news

Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more

Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more

Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more

10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more

Tom Rapp RIP – Singer / songwriter Tom Rapp, best known with the band Pearls Before Swine, passed away on February 12, at the age of 70, after a battle with cancer. » Read more

Previously in Exposé...

Glass Hammer - Perelandra – If you're looking for a good keyboard album, then look no further. Glass Hammer has lots to offer in that department. There are some great keyboard parts on Perelandra and the keyboards are most...  (1996) » Read more

Listen & discover

Print issues