Axiom of Choice

Glacier is a band stemming from the U.K. The album is dedicated to the memory of one of the backbones of the band, Mick King. A Monument to him as it were.

The music

Lull Before A Storm opens rather soothingly. The vocal melody has a bit of Yes in it (not as high though), with plenty of church like organ. The easy going gait of the continuation stands in stark contrast. The keyboard solo in the middle is typical of progressive, but goes nowhere. The break back into the Yes-like opening vocal part is quite nice. Church bells bring us finally to Think Of England. Again a rather easy going gait to this mid-tempo track. Actually, the music is a bit too tame for me. One might compare it to older Pendragon and other eighties English prog bands, but certainly not the strongest of these. The laid-back chorus sticks to your mind though. The song wins in strength and melody along the way though: after some choral parts, the music becomes rather driving and complex with many elements vieing for attention. But they do take their ideas too far.

Again church bells when we move into the third track. Bring Down The Rain opens with Gregorian voices and a deluge. After a bombastic opening the music winds down strongly to acoustic guitar and flute. The following vocal part is strongly sung. The singer has a distinctive voice, with a strange pronounciation at times. The soft chorus with choral effects, is rather melodramatic, but it works. Later a wailing guitar supports and a female voice lends her soulful voice as well. It is still raining in Another Open Door. This is a more up-tempo and catchy track, melodic rock for the most part.

The Iceman Cometh continues the line with a rather nice chorus. Some very optimistic tones in this one and plenty of variation in the instrumental ending. Con Molto Noddus is a bit of a circus like track. Again the music sounds a bit tame overall, I am afraid for lack of groove.

Monument is something differently altogether. A strong instrumental, anthemic, moving, in the style of Pendragon. After a short reprise of Bring Down The Rain, we come to East Of Arabia. This is a long and varied track with quiet piano and strongly ringing vocals in the middle.

Beyond The Wave is an anthemic track with some nice eighties progressive keyboards, but on the whole the song is too straightforward, too unadventurous. Through The Mist opens with acoustic guitar, later accompanied by soft keyboards. This song moves right into The City Gates, the subtle vocal melody of which sounds a bit familiar. After a strong anthemic chorus, the subtle vocal melody returns, but a bit more playful now. A guitar solo then, accompanied by some brimming organ and plenty of breaks. The band tries to do a bit too much here it seems.

The outro Whichone opens with samples and continues with a symphonic eruption that fades slowly.

Conclusion

Typical progressive. Not too inaccessible and not too simple either. On the whole the mellow parts were often a bit too mellow and the music could have been a bit more dynamic: the drumming was too often laid back and lacking in drive. In songs like The City Gates and Monument, a bit of bite shines through without giving up on melody. In other places the band surprises with melodramatic melodies, but without becoming trite (Bring Down The Rain), in most songs of this type however, the band still falls short of my rather high demands. Specific references are hard to give, but think Pendragon, Cyan and many of the more obscure English prog bands from the eighties and you should have some idea.

By Jurriaan HageĀ – Axiom of Choice

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