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Glacier: Island in the Sky

Having recently reviewed Glacier’s second album titled Ashes for the Monarch (2015), I was looking forward to their latest effort Island in the Sky, released in 2021. Like their previous album, the latest platter contains exceptionally composed neo-prog, offering an intriguing mixture of melody and complexity, including thought provoking lyrics, varying musical themes and fine lead vocals.

The first track “The Isle Of Glass”, taken from their second album, but now reworked, highlights the band’s melodic intent, including lovely string textures (violin and viola) meshing beautifully with keyboards and subtle guitar work. The violin and keyboards unite seamlessly in “Union”, featuring addictive lead vocals and dreamy soundscapes. It’s a smooth sound with lots of detailed musicianship. The strings take the lead through much of the song and the melodic guitar solo is well executed. Fans of ‘80s progressive rock should really dig this one, especially those into bands like Marillion and Saga. I hear a little Michael Sadler in Mike Winship’s lead vocals. Excellent bass and keyboards highlight “Our Children”, another fine example of well crafted neo prog. The keyboard and violin solos along with a mixture of softer and more forceful instrumentation highlight the band’s consummate musicianship. “The Icing On The Wake” is the disc’s longest track, beginning with narration and the sound of a typewriter before the rich, keyboard drenched soundscape unfolds into a crisp midtempo groove. More great bass is heard along with soaring vocals in the chorus and wonderful band interplay. The slower parts feature piano and lush vocals. “Lament For Persephone” is a relaxing instrumental piece while “The Man Who Cried” begins with a circus intro leading into a myriad of keyboard textured soundscapes and refined lead guitar. More great melodies abound.

For me, Glacier has been a great discovery, and has certainly reinforced my love of all things neo. If equal measures of melody and fine musicianship appeals to you, I highly recommend you give this band a try. Great stuff indeed!

John Youdale (guitars, vocals, effects)
Mike Winship (vocals)
Chris Wing (violin, viola, cello, flute, vocals)
Dave Birdsall (vocals)
Dave Kidson (piano, keyboards)
Bob Mulvey (bass, bass pedals, effects, voices)
Mark Burley (drums)
Linzi Hunter (vocals on tracks 1, 2, 4, 6, & 8)
Dale Harbron (narrative on tracks 1 and 4)

Track Listing:
1. The Isle Of Glass (7:15)
2. Union (5:24)
3. Our Children (5:43)
4. The Icing On The Wake (10:58)
5. Lament For Persephone (4:21)
6. The Man Who Cried (8:42)
7. Nightwing (Intro) (1:45)
8. Lights Out (5:20)
9. There Be Monsters (1:11)
10. Nightwing (6:47)
11. Oddessay (Outro) (1:24)

Added: August 3rd 2022
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band @ Bandcamp
Hits: 308
Language: english

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