Sunday, July 21, 2013

traditional prog Ivanhoe (Germany): "Systematrix"

traditional prog Ivanhoe (Germany): "Systematrix"
Even though traditional progsters Ivanhoe have 5 albums, this is the first time I hear their music. Ivanhoe has a strong, gritty and soulful singer in Mischa Mang who sings with a noticeable effort to add something different. It's melodic singing, but midpaced singing, very chorus-like singing, with the layering, sounding like several people at the same time. The singing pretty much takes over everything on this album, and it's possible that it is the number one attraction for some people.
Instrumentally, one can hear the bass guitar very clearly. In large part, that is because the guitarist Chuck Schuler is a team player: he's not playing attention-seeker riffs, but creating melodies that the singer can work with. Overall, the music and the singing go together very well.
In short, Ivanhoe has a good, clear production and they have a lot of talent, but they restrain themselves.
Perhaps if you like a band like Pain of Salvation, you might like Ivanhoe. This is midpaced, prog, intelligent instrumentation.
On the other hand, if you want to bang your head, Ivanhoe is not that type of band. Ivanhoe will sound very boring to you if you want simple, thrashing or catchy music. This is more on the side of "difficult metal" for people who have patience with bands that are oblivious to what most metal fans want. Actually, Ivanhoe is more for people into Tool, too, maybe, or just those bands that don't fit nicely into categories. It is prog metal, but it is also very strong-willed and anti-cliché metal, with lots of emotional singing.

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