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On disc: Ivanhoe



- Symbols Of Time - Volker Raabe - 6 stars
- Lifeline - Claudia Ehrhardt - 7 stars


www.ivanhoe-band.com







Lifeline

Lifeline
(Silverwolf Productions - 2008)


The German progressive power metal band Ivanhoe was founded in the late 80's and released 3 albums in the 90's with singer Andy B. Franck (now Brainstorm, Symphorce). It took a few years before they returned in 2005 with a new singer and an album called Walk In Mindfields. But singer Mischa Mang is also the vocalist of prog metal band Dreamscape.
They open up with the title track Lifeline - slowly and symphonic. Soon they add power and heavy riffs set in. Ivanhoe combines powerful metal with progressiveness. Singer Mischa Mang is a great singer with a powerful voice. At Mad Power Mischa Mang adds too much drama, guess his past as a musical singer shines through... Musically a riff-based rocker with a catchy melody. But not catchy enough to hook you up immediately. Schizophrenic is coming over you with sharp riffs, a pumping bass and keyboard, it seems that partly the vocals should be somehow fragile.. But even as Mang is technically doing everything right, it sounds artificial... The hook line is nice - reminds me of something else -, but not catchy enough to haunt you. Partly its the keyboard which seems to be used as a counterpart and so draws the attention from the refrain. At the up-tempo rocker Suffering the vocals should be a bit more aggressive, not just more powerful. With spoken words coming from a distance Angels Hologram kicks off. Here I would wish the vocals would be more emotional, not just powerful. A bit dragging and with a melancholy touch this one sticks out, but it can't really shine. The heaviest tune is Time Machine with it's thrashy riffs embedded in progressive structures and with powerful vocals and some screams. But again they can surprise with twists and turns. Partly the keyboard it too much up front - in my opinion -, but the melody line is great. Last, but not least Cheops - a progressive rocker with an Oriental touch and a cool hook line.
At the end I can say that the album shows a lot variety and can surprise the listener again and again. There are real power metal parts, some very progressive passages and some nice hook lines, but I miss a real ear catcher. Beside that I think that sometimes more emotional vocals would do the songs good. Technically brilliant played and sung, but the vocal technic seems to limit the expression of emotions...


7 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt
 

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Symbols Of Time

Symbols Of Time
(WMMS - 1995)


I don't know, but their previous release I liked more. Why? The new songs are to perfectly arranged and structured. And so they loose their own identity in my opinion. Even if the songs are atmospheric and have a certain solemnity - they are performed very well - I don't understand why they have to copy what made Dream Theater big and didn't try to release just a good album. For me this is too polished!!!


6 stars

Volker Raabe
(translation: Claudia Ehrhardt)
 

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           2008-2010 by Claudia Ehrhardt • E-Mail: contact@ice-vajal.com


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