[Review] Initiator – Ice Garden

Initiators is an American band of Prog Metal, born from an idea of keyboardist and singer Dennis Atlas. Despite their young age, they show with this Debut album entitled “Ice Garden” that they know how to do and have talent to sell. The record consists of 13 tracks lasting more than 4 minutes, and a track of over 10 minutes. “Apotheosis“, the OPENER, is a powerful piece, with fast rhythms, the voice in clear Metal style and the keyboards that are the backbone between melody and solo. “Carcass In Contentment” and “Seeker“, follow in the footsteps of the first, and are a mix of technique, fast-paced rhythms, distorted guitar and the excellent keyboards and vocal by Atlas. “The Drawing Board” has a beginning with melodic traits, then increase in intensity, the Symphonic refrain and the calmer tones make this piece a detachment. “Byzantium Extravaganza” is a very technical track, to the detriment of the symphony, noteworthy here is the the guitar and keyboards parts engaged in virtuous high-speed riffs, while bass and drums create syncopated rhythms worthy of note. The following “Romantic Phantasm”, “Unholy Sacrifice” and “Shadow Of The Waiting”, are three tracks of pure Prog Metal, characterized by swirling accelerations and choral refrains, each one maintaining its own identity and the compositional peculiarity of the band’s style. “Fantastic Insanity” is another symphonic piece with piano and acoustic guitar, which turns into a musical crescendo at the end of the song. “Feste’s Riddle” is a 1:54 minute track, a very technical passage for “Cosmic Saga“, a Metal track with a double pedal and keyboards to make it the master, great solo guitar in the end. So we come to “Beyond The Window“, lasting 10:37 minutes, with many nuances and time changes. Melody and aggressiveness blend together with flashes of pure technique, this is the proof that these guys are great players. The album ends with a very symphonic song, with a good guitar solo. This is an excelllent debut for Initiators, a young, energetic and well-prepared band, the keyboards and the arrangements are sublime, and there are all the conditions for them to have success for a long time to come. Although the genre is more oriented towards Prog Metal, given the variety of compositions and the technique expressed, the audience will be larger, reaching Prog lovers in general. “Ice Garden“, published July 15, 2019 is available on both CD and Digital.


01. Apotheosis (4:28)
02. Carcass In Contentment (5:47)
03. Seeker (4:27)
04. The Drawing Board (5:40)
05. Byzantium Extravaganza (3:34)
06. Romantic Phantasm (4:06)
07. Unholy Sacrifice (5:24)
08. Shadow Of The Waiting (4:06)
09. Fantastic Insanity (4:04)
10. Feste’s Riddle (1:54)
11. Cosmic Saga (4:31)
12. Beyond The Window (10:37)
13. Ice Garden (4:29)


Dennis Atlas / Keyboards, Lead Vocal
Michael Whelan / Guitar, Bass, Sitar
Mike Hetzel / Drums

Initiator |Official Website|Facebook Page|YouTube Channel|

Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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