Glacier - Island In The Sky - 2021



“... Melodic progressive Rock from England ...”


Glacier are a melodic progressive rock band based in the North East of England and have been around since the late seventies. So far the band has independently released the following three albums, “Monument” (2001), “Ashes For The Monarch” (2015) and “Island In The Sky” (2021). Listening to their fine music it’s a mystery to me that this band hasn’t been noticed by more prog fans and magazines yet. So if you don’t know the band yet, your are in for a real treat.


John Youdale - guitars, vocals & FX; Mike Winship - vocals; Chris Wing - violin, viola, cello, flute & vocals; Dave Birdsall - vocals; Dave Kilson - piano & keyboards; Bob Mulvey - bass, bass pedals, FX & vocals; Mark Burley - drums

Linze Hunter - vocals (1,2,4,6 & 8) Dale Harbron - narrative (1 & 4)


You will find the following tracks on this fine album; “The Isle Of Glass”, “Union”, “Our Childen”, “The Icing On The Wake”, “Lament For Persephone”, “The Man Who Cried”, “Nightwing (Intro) / Lights Out”, “There Be Monsters”, “Nightwing” and “Oddessay (Outro).

The album opens with the track “The Isle Of Glass” and after a short intro you will notice the melodic character of their music. The beautiful violin melodies got my attention. The electronic version of this classical instrument is in my opinion made for melodic progressive rock music. The polyphonic vocals also stand out in their music. What a fine opener. Seamlessly the piano and violin brings us to the next song “Union” which includes several delicious synth and violin melodies. Later on when the flute also joins the party is seems that the music becomes more classical but a soaring electric guitar solo wipes out this idea again. Of course a violin will always add a kind classical touch to the music.

In “Our Children” you can also find some folk influences but the main character of the music stays very melodic. This track has nice keyboard orchestrations and fine parts with flute and synth flutes. At this moment the listener is already sucked into the music. And this is only the beginning because the following long track “The Icing On The Wake” (10:58) is a real beauty of epic proportions. The opening with the synths and violin is very nice. But there are also fine bass parts and polyphonic vocals. Love the use of a narrative voice to tell the story. What is also worth mentioning are the varied guitar parts. “The Icing on The Wake” is absolutely a highlight of this album. At some point you will hear only all the different vocal parts. A melodic electric guitar solo ends this fine song. Only for this song you have to buy this album!

“Lament For Persephone” opens with a fine guitar part that is later on accompanied by keyboard strings and bass. After two minutes the complete band joins the music but the guitar is stealing the show in this instrumental track. “The Man Who Cried” has also lovely guitar and violin melodies that sounds uplifting to me. This contrast between the title and the music is because of the sad story, freaks exhibited at a fair just because their body is different. “Nightwing” is a short intro for ‘Lights Out” , a song with strong vocal parts and nice uptempo violin parts. This is followed by the short instrumental “There Be Monsters”, a classical piano part. The piano also brings us to the fine song “Nightwing”. The instrumentation is diverse with nice flute parts, but also fat organ parts. Again you will find nice melodies in this track and variation with flute and violin parts. The album comes to an end with the outro “Oddessay”, just a little gem to end this remarkable album.


Glacier surprised me with this beautiful album with melodic progressive rock with that typical atmosphere you only find in British bands (e.g. Kaprekar’s Constant, Big Big Train). This is only a clarification about the atmosphere, the music of above mentioned bands is different. But if you like British bands and also like me, enjoy an electric violin in your melodic prog, this album is for you. Just check out this band and enjoy the music.

author - date - rating - label

Douwe Fledderus -May 2022 -  - Glaciermusic