This EP is the brainchild of drum guru Pat Gesualdo. His Drum Therapy which is used to help Autistic and Special Needs children has been a ground breaking endeavor. With his band Iceland they have put out a mostly instrumental disc that will help benefit his DAD(Drums and Disabilities) program with a portion of the proceeds heading that way. While this is a good cause I would have hoped that he would have made a more exciting musical statement. It is good quality prog music but offers little in the way of anything new or different.
The disc has some very jazzy overtones throughout and this is the most appealing aspect. I would love to hear them put a little more time and effort into putting together their sound. From the start when the guitar sound of Danny Wacker hits you on the opener "Reverse Osmosis" it is evident that these are some very good musicians but could use a little direction. This song seems to drift into a more free form jazz style after the electric opening it really loses steam at that point.
With the next song "The Trial Of Adeus Bue" they go for a more straight forward prog attack and although it is a very listenable tune it could have come from a multitude of similar groups in the genre. The time signature changes are significant in this one and give it a major boost as they amble through a few shifts in attitude and delivery. "Avalanche" keeps this theme going but in a much more simplistic way but has a terrific organ interlude to keep things interesting.
Then comes the only song with vocals. Martin Morin is the singer and this power ballad really is the low point of the disc. Cheesy, complete with lonely guitar solo in the middle, this could have come off an album by any of the crooners in the AOR field.
I cannot think of a good reason to add another guitar version of "Carol Of The Bells" to a disc of this sort. Go pick up Trans Siberian Orchestra and have it in the most powerful way you can.
Ending the disc on quite a disconcerting note, I think that Pat wanted to showcase his abilities behind the kit and "Solar Shuffle" is the result. With a major dose of jazz this one starts out well but pretty soon feels as if Gesualdo is on a different page than the rest of the band. Getting to that point is a repetitious guitar and bass line that really starts to grate before Gesualdo takes over and you really want this to be over.
This one is a real mish mash that is at best average. It is for a good cause but I think you would be better off making a donation straight to the D.A.D. organization.
1. Reverse Osmosis
2. The Trial Of Adeus Bue
4. World's Apart
5. Carol Of The Bells
6. Solar Shuffle