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Symphonic Prog • United States

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Izz biography
IZZ, from New York, originates with the Galgano brothers. Tom (keyboards, vocals) and John (bass, guitar, keyboards, vocals) grew up listening to music together, so it was a natural step for them to join forces as musicians. John Met Greg DiMiceli (drums and percussion) in college, and thus started a domino effect of introductions. Greg begat Brian Coralian (drums and Percussion) and Paul Bremner (lead guitar), and Paul begat Phil Gaita (bass). As musicians do, they all jammed together and eventually IZZ was formed (the name taken from one of John's favorite Mets players). However, Paul was in another band, so he was not yet an official member.

In 1998 "Sliver of a Sun" was released. For the debut, John handled lead guitar, and Phil was on bass. While putting the finishing touches on the album, Tom met Laura Meade and Anmarie Byrnes. The ladies did not join the club right away, but their vocal and compositional talents would come to have a profound impact on the IZZ sound later on.

2002's "I move" saw Phil's departure, and the permanent addition of Paul Bremner. This also meant that John was now on Bass duty. The core of the band was now set with a strong lead guitariist, and the unusual aspect of dual drummers.

In 2004 the band released a collection of previously unused material called "Ampesand Vol. 1." It consisted of outtakes from the first two albums, and some live tracks. It was a decent curiosity, but real excitement was brewing with the following release.
The release of "My River Flows" in 2005 really started to turn some heads. The band was very good before, but the addition of Laura and Anmarie, and the growth of the group itself drove them to create their most accomplished work to date. Enthusiasm for IZZ grew as the album got more exposure. The live shows were also met high praise. This culminated with their appearance at NEARfest 2007, which was considered one of the best performances that year. Thankfully it was recorded and released simply as "Live at Nearfest."

IZZ is frequently seen on the Progressive Rock festival circuit. They are influenced by the usual classics (Yes, Genesis, Gentle Giant, The Beatles, etc.), and also modern bands, like Radiohead. There are even those that see a certain pop element in the music, mostly due to Tom Galgano and Laura Meade's vocals. They seem to have no exceptions when it comes to incorporating styles. It is not unusual to hear Rock, Jazz, Latin, and Funk. This gives them ...
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Buy IZZ Music

Crush of NightCrush of Night
Doone Records 2012
Audio CD$12.99
$11.90 (used)
Everlasting InstantEverlasting Instant
Doone Records, Inc. 2015
Audio CD$14.99
$11.67 (used)
Ampersand 2Ampersand 2
CD Baby 2016
Audio CD$11.00
$24.57 (used)
The Darkened RoomThe Darkened Room
Doone Records 2009
Audio CD$12.99
$8.24 (used)
My River FlowsMy River Flows
Doone Records, Inc. 2005
Audio CD$11.99
$8.14 (used)
Ampersand, Volume 1Ampersand, Volume 1
CD Baby 2016
Audio CD$9.99
$9.97 (used)
Sliver of a SunSliver of a Sun
Doone Records 2011
Audio CD$15.99
$12.99 (used)
IZZ Live at NEARfestIZZ Live at NEARfest
Doone Records 2007
Audio CD$21.49
$19.34 (used)
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IZZ discography

Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help to complete the discography and add albums

IZZ top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.59 | 52 ratings
Sliver Of A Sun
3.65 | 82 ratings
I Move
3.05 | 36 ratings
Ampersand, Volume 1
3.80 | 94 ratings
My River Flows
4.01 | 127 ratings
The Darkened Room
3.87 | 157 ratings
Crush Of Night
3.79 | 127 ratings
Everlasting Instant
3.67 | 15 ratings
Ampersand, Volume 2

IZZ Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.01 | 23 ratings
Live at Nearfest

IZZ Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.85 | 7 ratings

IZZ Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

IZZ Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 1 ratings
Places To Hide
4.00 | 3 ratings
Red Rain

IZZ Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 Ampersand, Volume 2 by IZZ album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.67 | 15 ratings

Ampersand, Volume 2
Izz Symphonic Prog

Review by senor_velasco

4 stars Equal parts catchy musicianship, rich vocal harmonies, and a refreshing diversity of style, Ampersand Volume 2 is more than a sequel to Volume 1 and other previous IZZ releases. Here's a band that has always clearly taken cues from classic prog acts such as Yes and ELP, yet has forged its own sound and identity.

Particularly on display in this album is the rhythm section, with the bass taking front and center in many songs.

If you can fault earlier IZZ efforts, you might point to a bit of aimless meandering in their longer pieces. This is not the case with Volume 2. The music is pointed and more spare, cutting out the extraneous sections. It also doesn't generally feel as "thick." Overall this makes for a somewhat shorter album, but one in which the music never bogs down under its own weight.

 The Darkened Room by IZZ album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.01 | 127 ratings

The Darkened Room
Izz Symphonic Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Prog Team

5 stars Izz were formed in the Nineties, and even though this album is from 2009, those Nineties influences are plain to hear. This is symphonic progressive rock from a band at the very top of their game, and given that since this album they have recruited former Gentle Giant and current 3 Friends guitarist, Gary Green, into the line-up, I am incredibly intrigued to hear what they are doing now. Harmony vocals? Yup. Plenty of intricately woven melodies? Check. Music that makes the listener stay through to the end and then hit repeat? Double check. This is one of the most exciting albums I have heard from the States since I first came across Spock's Beard, Glass Hammer, Discipline, Timothy Pure and Iluvatar back in the day. It has that sort of impact, and whatever passage I am listening to, of whatever song, is the best bit. There is some beautiful bass on this album, and while they rarely come across as anyone else, there are times when it sounds as if Chris Squire has his hand on the frets.

They're not afraid to slow it down, and bring in just gentle piano and vocals (and a triangle ? when was the last time you heard one of those on a prog album?). "Can't feel The Earth (Pt.1)" is incredible from start to end, with as much owed to modern classical music as it does to traditional progressive rock (although there are a few Gentle Giant tendencies it must be said). The more I played this he more I kept telling myself that these guys are still active, and released four studio albums before this one and three afterwards (as well as a live album and a DVD) so what are the others like? I feel that I have been missing out, yet at the same time am excited that there is so much more great music to discover by these guys. They released their debut album some eighteen years ago and are still going strong, which is quite some achievement.

Quite simply, if you enjoy progressive rock, then this is an album that you just have to get, and once you have fallen in love with this as I have, then there is plenty more out there to discover.

 Everlasting Instant by IZZ album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.79 | 127 ratings

Everlasting Instant
Izz Symphonic Prog

Review by Angelo
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

4 stars IZZ have been around since the 90s, and were founded by American brothers Tom (keyboards, vocals) and John (bass, guitar, keyboards, vocals) Galgano. Over time, the band became known for incorporating different styles into their music, and for combining four vocals: the two brothers, and female vocalists Laura Meade and Anmarie Byrnes). They've been getting more attention since their fourth album My River Flows (2005), and released their seventh, Everlasting Instant in 2015.

For me, this album was the first I heard of IZZ, another band I had heard about but never got around to listening until this year. I got hooked quite quickly, exactly because of the aforementioned characteristics. The mix of styles means that every track is different in nature, but still fits what is apparently the IZZ sound, and the vocal arrangements are often simply mesmerising.

The opening track Own the Mystery, has such an nice vocal arrangement in its 'choruses', that makes for a nice addition to a soft, almost pop piano and keyboard based track. The change to Every Minute is surprising. This is a short instrumental which introduces the bass of John Galgano, which proves to be a constant factor throughout the album - a bass that is not there for support, but to drive the music and provide it's own melodies and riffs.

Riffs like the one Start Again, which is interleaved with very melodic vocal parts. The interleaving builds into a question answer pattern, with male vocals on the bass driven parts, and female vocals answering in the quieter more melodic sections. The second half of the track has more power and the male vocals become Sting like, but more powerful... Guitarist Paul Bremner seems to play two guitars over each other on the instrumental too.

The more jazzy If It's True has yet again a very clear bass line, crisp bass line, with guitar and keyboard melodies moving in and out - supporting the female vocals. The synth noises at the transition from verse to chorus give it a slightly more experimental feel, and the short instrumental mid section briefly rocks before going back to the beginning.

And so it continues, with new elements in every song. The Three Seers starts with a mysterious piano and male vocal part. The first half of the song is like a 21st century minstrel telling a story accompanied by piano, while the darker, keyboard heavy second part is more desperate, and emotional.

The title track has an electronic beat, which is answered by a counter melody from a female voice, singing an almost Celtic piece. It develops from there into more folk rock like track, then to keyboard and organ driven symphonic rock, going back to the Celtic feel in the end. If not proven already, this track shows how IZZ use vocals not just as a carrier for lyrics, but really as an additional instrument.

Keep Away is best described as 'contemporary jazz rock', with a 'jumpy' bass line, which both contrasts and supports the slow melancholic vocals, keyboards and guitar. When a second female vocal joins half way, goose bumps are guaranteed.

The two most complex tracks on the album Can't Feel the Earth Part IV and Sincerest Life sandwich the more accessible, Illuminata. Where that track starts with a happy, thoughtless feel, brought on by an acoustic guitar and then developers into a slow neo prog track, the other two are less clearly defined. Can't Feel the Earth starts with bass and percussion, but builds in a few steps into a 70s symphonic rock track, with a big organ and guitar sound, and a very present bass. And of course, with a great goal arrangement again.

Hardest to get into is Sincerest Life, which goes from piano piece to a wailing guitar and keyboard lead, then to a more jazzy mood, then to a shuffled rock rhythm and an intricate vocal arrangement again. Here, even more than on the rest of the album, the off the trodden path drum work also helps confusing attentive the listener.

After all this, the mellow rock track Like A Straight Line, which has a nice layering of melodies and is almost completely instrumental is a fitting end.

As I like an album more, my reviews tend to get longer, and this one is no exception. The only words missing are 'highly recommended', although given what others old me, the three albums preceding this one may even be slightly better.

Also published on my blog

 Everlasting Instant by IZZ album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.79 | 127 ratings

Everlasting Instant
Izz Symphonic Prog

Review by Ovidiu

4 stars Here we have the outstanding new IZZ album,in fact album number three ,and the last from the trilogy which started with the phenomenal album -THE DARKENED ROOM,released a few years ago!Definitelly,this album is a very ambitious and inspired closing third chapter of this ambitious work of this wonderful American talented band!What is the first thing that comes into my mind after a first audition of this album,is the very mature songwriting and the diversity of the compositions,plus the unbelieveble and impressive technical skills of all the members of the band!There are also some musical themes that are reviewed from the first two albums,and this is a mark of the strong cohesion and unity of this ambitious musical trilogy!The artwork is simply superbe,the very expressive photo is offering to the listener an image of what it is going to be like,the musical journey where we are invited by the band,in their universe of many different and weird emotions and moods!Definitelly,this is the most elaborate and mature album of all the three that compose the trilogy,it's a very mature songwriting and musicality of all tracks!Maybee it's not so spectacular like THE DARKENED ROOM,but the strong ideas presented here ara having a strong impact on the listener,and that makes of this album,a very serious and passioned audition for any good prog rock music lover!Definitelly to choose any particular song from the album to be pushed ahead,all is in a very monolythic manner ,and the whole ensemble of the album is very strong indeed!The boys voices are perfectly combined with the girls ones,and that makes the diversity of the album even more catchy and fascinated!Musically speaking,there is a strong influence of the classic prog rock icons,like Genesis,Yes,Floyd or Gentle a little modern touch a la Spock's Beard,Echolyn or The Flower Kings....but with the strong IZZ musical personality and blueprint!Anyway,it's king of vintage prog rock,but cleverly "'dressed"' in a more modern outfitt...very attractive and tasteful for the listeners!I repeat,the mature compositions,the exceptional songwriting is impressive,plus the technical and so fine technical aspect of IZZ' music,all this ingredients are so well made,that makes of this album a very enjoyable and wonderful musical experience!The production is excellent,top class indeed and the whole sound os IZZ's music is easily recognisable-there is definitelly a particular IZZ sound,touch in their music!Strong 4.5 stars for me and my sincere compliments for this outstanding musical of the best prog rock albums of the first half of 2015...
 Ampersand, Volume 1 by IZZ album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.05 | 36 ratings

Ampersand, Volume 1
Izz Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Apparently Izz had hit the stride with the first pair of released albums, as the band started to become a regular visitor of famous Prog festivals, beginning with Progfest 2002, where they shared the same stage with Thieves' Kitchen and Prog/Fusion veterans Kraan and The Muffins.The Galgano brothers thought that some of material not included in the previous album was too good to be left aside and decided to offer it to the public under the title of ''Ampersand''.Just one week before its release in 2004, Izz would make another significant performance in Rosfest 2004 next to acts such as Jadis, Salem Hill and Sonus Umbra.

The leftovers from ''I move'' are supported by a bunch of live tracks in an album that is pretty interesting without reaching the best moments of Izz'es normal studio albums.While the previous efforts of the band were basically deeped into Neo/Symphonic Prog with huge pop sensibilities, ''Ampersand'' sounds mostly as a collection of Prog-Pop tracks with quirky instrumental workouts and less emphasis on symphonic orchestrations.You can turn around the band's main influences and this one comes as if THE BEATLES turned Prog, influenced by GENESIS, YES and GENTLE GIANT.The acoustic guitars come in evidence, the cinematic textures are a basic content and the lyrical moments seem to be among the leading forces of the album.Even so, this is way too far from typical, crappy Pop material.Izz complemented their sound with nervous synthesizers, some dramatic instrumental lines with a GENTLE GIANT-like complexity and lots of light, Neo/Symph Prog elements close to the principles of MOSTLY AUTUMN, early PAATOS or BREATHING SPACE.As for the live tracks, these are recorded in three different venues and come basically from the band's previous albums with ''Star evil gnoma su'' being an absolute stunner in this live version, Progressive Rock at its best form, complex, naughty, intricate and melodic.The biggest surprise comes from the ''Molly's jig'' track, a rural instrumental piece with some supporting lines by electric guitars and keyboards, originally included in Paul Bremner's 2004 album ''Wombsong''.

Do not leave this work by Izz aside.The band seems so talented that even these Pop-inclined pieces are covered by an inventive, proggy flexibilty.Close to the sound of BRIGHTEYE BRISON's early material or SPOCK'S BEARD more accesible compositions and warmly recommended.

 The Darkened Room by IZZ album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.01 | 127 ratings

The Darkened Room
Izz Symphonic Prog

Review by sinslice

3 stars It is difficult to discuss these boys instrumentalist expertise. The during Darkened Room it is seen clearly. The music takes hold in the excellent parts of piano, keyboards and guitar contributions. The album shows a more mature that 'My River Flows', but I like more the one published in 2005.

Here the blend between symphonic progressive, with a dose of alternative rock and some electronic, not completely captivates me.

In '23 Minutes of Tragedy ' is where they achieve a greater impact on that effort, great song. At other times, as in 'Can not Feel the Earth part I and III' and 'Regret', also achieve a good musical atmosphere.  

 Live at Nearfest by IZZ album cover Live, 2007
4.01 | 23 ratings

Live at Nearfest
Izz Symphonic Prog

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator PSIKE Team & Band Submissions

4 stars Sitting In This Asylum ... I Need Assurance Now

'Live At Nearfest' presents an excellent IZZ performance from the year 2007. Firstly, let me assure that they belong to my favourite bands over hell of a long time. Founded by Galgano brothers Tom and John they are of an exceptional singularity, thus I often come back to them, especially when I'm in a pleasant mood. I like their convenient combination of trickiness and warm-hearted harmonies - additionally the (polyphonic) vocals are a special trademark. Musicianship is wide-ranged, John Galgano for example handles bass, guitar and keyboards, and they have two drummers respectively percussionists aboard, who complement each other.

Won't claim that this is something like a best of collection exactly, but the compilation surely makes it big, sounds rounded due to a perpetual shift back and forth between charming and propulsive moments. They start with Swallow Our Pride - a testimonial, which made it on the next coming album 'The Darkened Room' then. My River Flows is somewhat exceptional while given with two guitars involved, speaking of Paul Bremner and John Galgano perfectly complementing on this very dynamic song. Now the operating temperature is achieved in a minimum of time.

The symphonic Assurance shows them hanging back then with charming moments at first, but - not really surprising - in between the horses break into a gallop of course. Wonderful vocals and sparkling piano lines are the attraction on where the studio version of Late Night Salvation seems to be better as for my impression - eh ... sorry ... if at all I'm talking about nuances here, you should know. I still find this an exceptional feature included - just take care of the female vocals and the drum solo performed by both percussionists.

The atmospheric Where I Belong is showcasing Anmarie Byrnes and Laura Meade in front - and then Star Evil Gnoma Su follows as their showpiece per se. Every time I listen, I'm still impressed about the virtuosity - a masterpiece of progressive rock indeed. The live version even seems to work slightly better. Chapeau! Funny - after years I finally realized, that the song title is a (simple) pun. This live album is a perfect introduction to the IZZ world, if you still are not familiar. Furthermore you shouldn't miss their studio output.

 I Move by IZZ album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.65 | 82 ratings

I Move
Izz Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars After the debut of Izz bassist Philip Gaita decided to leave the group.John Galgano then made a smart move, taking over the bass duties and hiring with his brother guitarist Paul Bremner, a musician that prooved to be the last missing puzzle in a stable line-up.With this formation Izz recorded their sophomore album ''I Move'' in 2002, released again on John Galgano's Doone Records.

The style of the band did not change a bit, despite the presence of the new guitarist, and follows the lines of modern Symphonic/Neo Progressive Rock with glances in the past but a quite contemporary sound.GENESIS, YES, KING CRIMSON and GENTLE GIANT influences along with THE BEATLES touches remain the main components of Izz'es music, which actually sound like a second incarnation of SPOCK'S BEARD.Next to the usual prog instrumentation Izz use a bit of samplers and loops, trying to add some more originality in their music.The result is very satysfying to say the least.Emphatic contemporary Progressive Rock, which ranges from atmospheric soundscapes to rich and full-blown passages, based on the slightly distorted vocals of Tom Galgano and the intelligent arrangements, which contain both melodic and more challenging parts.Excellent soaring synthesizers combine with discreet organs and smooth piano interludes and all these are blended with John Galgano's and Bremner's guitars, which excercise the possibility of the coexistence between melody and complexity.The material is extremely memorable and well-crafted with some very good compositions among the fifteen pieces displayed on the CD, while the full instrumental textures are highly adventurous and fairly complicated.

Another nice album in the Izz discography.Extremely balanced, modern sounding, challenging and melodic at the same time.Highly recommended.

 Crush Of Night by IZZ album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.87 | 157 ratings

Crush Of Night
Izz Symphonic Prog

Review by ProgShine
Collaborator Errors & Omissions Team

4 stars I've heard about the American band IZZ back in the year of 2009 when I was contacted by the Press Manager of the band. That year they released their album The Darkened Room (2009). I didn't know at the time, but that album was the first part of a trilogy. Three years later they released the second part of their story under the name Crush of Night (2012). This album is quite special to the band, since they got the legendary Gary Green (GENTLE GIANT guitarist) to play in 2 of the songs.

Crush of Night (2012) is not that different, sonically speaking, from The Darkened Room (2009). As it is supposed to be in a second part of a story, it's a continuation of their previous work.

One of the things that I like in IZZ since the beginning is the bass lines that John Galgano brings to their music, always clever. Also, the vocals are here too, at this point a trade mark of the band. It's quite normal on their albums to hear two voices at the same time, sometimes even three, which is a very original feature of the band.

'You've Got A Time' is the opening track and it's a typical IZZ track, superb quality with a little pop accent. The second, 'Words And Miracles' is more complex in the beginning. Lots of guitars including the mentioned Gary Green participation and great vocals by Tom Galgano (he's also the keyboard man). Anmarie Byrnes is the female voice on the track three, 'Solid Ground', but the electronics and the 'blips & blops' of the track bother me as hell! Especially because I know the track could be really better with a different arrangement. To compensate for 'Solid Ground', IZZ brings to the table the superb 'Half The Way', melodical and beautiful keyboard driven song. A great guitar solo by Paul Bremner is included! In the sequence we have the 'Crush Of Night Suite', as the readers of Progshine already know I'm a fan of long songs, this is one of them, but unfortunately it was divided into two tracks. Together they spam over 26 minutes. The Suite starts with 'This Reality' and a wonderful bass line by John Galgano. Around 3 minutes the electronics come along again, and it bothers me again, especially knowing the band has two drummers' I don't think it fits their music at all. The first part of the Suite is a bit weak in my opinion, it lacks the epic feeling that I know the band could deliver. In the second part of 'The Crush Of Night' we have once again Gary Green as a Special Guest in the guitars, but the overall feeling continues to be not that good. To me the song doesn't go anywhere, I know the band could do much better. Only after the 9th minute of the song I could feel the real IZZ in it, like I know they can be, which is kinda sad.

'Almost Over' finishes Crush of Night (2012) with one more guest, Greg Meade on the guitar solo, a great bass line, nice doubled vocals and a nice riff. Not enough to make me feel that the album is worth a million listens. In fact, I feel a little bit disappointed, cause I really like the band.

My overall feeling about this new IZZ album is that they could have done better! It's a good album, but it's not so remarkable as The Darkened Room (2009). Some pieces seem out of place, especially in the Suite. I will wait with my best high hopes for the next album, that will finish the trilogy!

 Crush Of Night by IZZ album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.87 | 157 ratings

Crush Of Night
Izz Symphonic Prog

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator PSIKE Team & Band Submissions

4 stars 'Crush Of Night' is announced to be the second part of a trilogy which has been started with 'The Darkened Room' in 2009. So first of all - this obviously is not the end of the story, good to know. New York based IZZ were founded by the Galgano brothers Tom and John nearly 15 years ago, and since then they are an absolute guarantee when it comes to catchy retro styled prog rock music with symphonic touches. For me a big trademark is that - often outfitted with female suppport - voices and instruments perfectly match..And this points to the fact that Anmarie Byrnes is aboard once more, immediately to notice when the first song starts with disitnctive vocal harmonies.

Words And Miracles features a guest appearance of Gentle Giant's guitarist Gary Green - a guitar dominated tune with great dynamics but also a semi-acoustic part by way of variation. Solid Ground convinces me completely due to the catchy main melody and wonderful polyphonic vocals. The balladesque Half The Way comes with sparkling piano leading into the album's 26-minute centerpiece, represented by two immediately consecutive and extended songs. The solemn This Reality with proper symphonic fundament and then the epic title song are showcasing several twists and turns. First this reminds me of german band RPWL a bit. Some sweet melodies follow, finally even jamming approach inclusive of guitar solos and synth excursions backed by a groovy background - the song-writing abilities are simply great here!

No filler to discover! With 'Crush Of Night' the band has delivered an excellent workout again in 2012 - definitely something to enjoy. Strong musicianship all the way through. I wouldn't say this is significantly differing from previous efforts, except an improved accessibility of the compositions maybe. As for that not really spectacular, one or two may say - however the songs certainly prove mature, can convince me absolutely. So I'm sure this one will be an excellent addition to every well-sorted prog music collection.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to E&O Team for the last updates

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