The Darkened Room (Doone Records, 2009)
The Darkened Room marks the first volume of a series of concept albums by IZZ, one of the finest progressive rock groups in the United States. The band has amassed several years of experience and shows an enviable maturity.
Although some of the songs still have pop hooks, IZZ has moved deeper into symphonic progressive rock, which is greatly appreciated. In past albums, vocalists, guitars and keyboards played an essential role. On The Darkened Room they are as good as ever. However, John Galgano’s bass seems more visible with various leading roles throughout the album.
Album highlights include the short instrumental ‘Day of Innocence’ with its fine vocal work and a mix of acoustic and electric guitars. ‘Can’t Feel the Earth, Part I’ is dominated by the piano, with exploratory moments and neoclassical influences that take it very close to Keith Emerson territory.
‘Can’t Feel the Earth, Part II’ introduces IZZ’s epic and energetic sound with superb bass lines, keyboards, vocals and outstanding guitar solos.
‘23 Minutes of Tragedy’ takes the band into a magical realm, influenced by early Genesis, with vocals that emulate the Peter Gabriel sound and a fabulous combination of keyboard and guitar solos.
The final piece, ‘Can’t Feel the Earth, Part III’ stands out as well, with more epic
vocals, bass lines and skillful guitar solo.
The line-up on this album features Tom Galgano on keyboards, vocals; Paul Bremner on electric & acoustic guitars; Brian Coralian on electronic & acoustic drums, percussion; Greg DiMiceli on acoustic drums, percussion; John Galgano on bass guitar, acoustic guitar, vocals; and Anmarie Byrnes vocals.
With The Darkened Room, IZZ continues to demonstrate that it is one of the leading creative forces in the current generation of American progressive rock music.