Ice Age – Waves Of Loss And Power – Album Review24th March 2023 0 By George Simpson
When I came across this album for review, I assumed that Ice Age was a new band, having never encountered them in the past. Whilst researching Ice Age, I found out that the opposite was the case. Whilst Waves Of Loss And Power is indeed their third album, it arrives a whopping 22 years after their second, 2001’s Liberation. But luckily, there’s no hint of rustiness on display, as, it hasn’t been said, this is a pretty good album to return with.
Indeed, as if to emphasize that they’re picking up where they left off, two of the tracks here are continuations of tracks recorded two decades ago, Perpetual Child – Part II – Forever and To Say Goodbye – Parts IV and V, both have preceding parts on their first two albums, how prog rock is that? Musically, influences are certainly displayed proudly on the sleeves too. You hear elements of Queensryche, Rush, and Styx here, in fact, if you’ve ever wondered what Dream Theater would sound like without all the virtuosity, here is the answer.
Opening with a punch, The Needle’s Eye is a powerful opener that grabs your attention from the start. Immediately sounding fresh and current it features a commanding vocal from Josh Pincus, over a pounding Jimmy Pappas riff. This is one of the most straightforward, least proggy songs featured here. From here on in, they certainly stretch their musical wings over the next hour or so.
After such a powerful start, the piano opening to Riverflow takes us on an almost immediate musical hand break turn. Over the course of its nearly eleven-minute duration, we get all the hallmarks of classic prog. There’s a melody, dynamic mood changes, instrumental passages, and a memorable song to boot. There are a few tracks with double-digit minute running times here. This one and the closing To Say Goodbye Part V are the best of these. Both are melodic and boast a bombastic grandeur that their prog rock forefathers made an art form.
Those tracks are a real highlight on this album for me. Their blend of organ, piano, and guitar riffs provides a great sonic landscape. However, on the fourteen-minute Perpetual Child Part II, they drift into ore prog metal territory, and for me it becomes a bit of a ponderous listen to that drags a bit. I like a bit of diversity, and a bit more going on in longer tracks to hold my attention. Unfortunately, this one lacks a bit in that department, as it plows a more prog metal furrow throughout.
As well as these epics, there are a couple of shorter, more immediate tracks providing the meat in the prog sandwich. As a result, these save the album from itself by picking up the momentum considerably. On Together Now, they channel their inner Rush fandom with a choppy riff that brings to mind Alex Lifeson in his pomp. Next, the short and snappy All My Years raises the tempo even further. The song immediately brings to mind Skids and Big Country‘s post-punk energy, on what is undoubtedly the album’s most melodic track.
Overall, this isn’t a bad album at all. It has some very good moments on it. Aside from a very ponderous quarter of an hour in the middle section of it, which accounts for nearly 25 percent of the album, there’s plenty here to keep your attention for the rest of it. Hopefully, it’ll be significantly less than two decades before we hear more from them!
1 – The Needle’s Eye
2 – Riverflow
3 – Perpetual Child – Part II – Forever
4 – Together Now
5 – All My Years
6 – Float Away
7 – To Say Goodbye – Part IV – Remembrance
8 – To Say Goodbye – Part V – Water Child
Release Date: 17th March 2023