Crush of Night (Doone Records DR10-669563, 2012)
The highly anticipated album by American progressive rock band IZZ is now available. Crush of Night is Part 2 of a 3-part series of albums that started with The Darkened Room (TDR) in 2009.
Crush of Night is a real treat. It is state of the art progressive rock all the way through. The album opens with the shortest song on the album, ‘You’ve Got a Time.’ Soon, the listener is exposed to rich vocal harmonies, intricate bass lines and conclusive guitar solo.
‘Words and Miracles’ starts with a fast tempo instrumental section with fabulous guitar interplay. If the music has a Gentle Giant feel, don’t be surprised. Gentle Giant’s guitarist Gary Green appears on this piece, bringing his signature sound and tempo changes. Halfway through the piece, the composition slows downs, introducing tasty vocals and keyboards.
“Having Gary come to the studio and record with us was an amazing experience,” says IZZ bassist John Galgano. “Gary came in and not only added his signature guitar playing, but also contributed to the writing, added a few blistering solos and even sang backing vocals on Words and Miracles. It is a great honor to have Gary playing alongside us on this record and we know that fans of Gary will enjoy the guitar artistry that he’s added to this IZZ record.”
Track 3, ‘Solid Ground,’ showcases the superb male and female vocal interactions and harmonies that IZZ is known for. Solid Ground also features a beautiful jazzy groove, a superb guitar solo and more of the great bass lines.
‘Half the Way’ begins as a beautiful piano ballad that develops into climactic synthesizer and guitar melodies. I always think Tom Galgano’s keyboard solos are too short so his longer synth solo is a real treat.
The album continues with the remarkable ‘Crush of Night’ 26 minute suite, which is divided into two parts.
Part 1 is the outstanding ‘This Reality,’ which is one of the longest cuts on the album. It’s also one of the pieces where IZZ shows their fusion of classic progressive rock with cutting edge sounds. The track includes ever changing passages with potent bass and drums, synth, piano, guitar and bass solos, electronics, outstanding female and male vocal interplay, and an edgy electronic section with mesmerizing vibraphone sounds and climactic finale with string synths and guitar.
Part 2, Track 6, ‘The Crush of Night,’ has an epic feel from the very beginning and highlights the female vocals of the talented Anmarie Byrnes, undoubtedly one of the finest voices in the progressive rock scene. Accompanying Byrnes is a brilliant collage of percussion interplay, exquisite piano and grand finale on guitar and synths.
The final track is titled ‘Almost Over,’ where guitarist album Paul Bremner showcases his talent in a series of morphing guitar solos.
The line-up on Crush of Night includes Paul Bremner on electric and acoustic guitar; Anmarie Byrnes on vocals; Brian Coralian on electronic and acoustic drums and percussion; Greg DiMiceli on drums and percussion; John Galgano on bass guitar, acoustic/electric guitar, vocals; and Tom Galgano on keyboards, vocals.
With Crush of Night, IZZ demonstrates that it is one of the leading forces in the American progressive rock scene.