Ivory Gates
The Devil's Dance

1. Beyond the Black
2. Devil's Dance
3. Endless Nightmare
4. Serpent's Kiss
5. Under the Sky of Illusions
6. Imaginary World
7. Suite Memory

Felipe Travaglini (Vocals)
Heitor Mazzotti (Guitars)
Matheus Armelin (Guitars)
Hugo Mazzotti (Bass, Chapman stick, NS stick)
Fabrizio Felix (Drums)

Shapes of Memory (2002)
Status Quo (2005)

Jane Pereira (vocals on tracks 2, 4 & 7)

Brendan Duffey (engineer & master)
Recorded at Soulmix Studios by Renato Napty & Transient Studio by Matheus Armelin

Released 12/3-2012
Reviewed 6/8-2012

ms metal

The Ivory Gates in Brazil has reopened after almost seven years and through the gates we hear music, music that might have been locked in there since the eighties. 'The Devil's Dance' is the first Ivory Gates album since 2005 and though I clearly remember them from the time when power metal was the shit, I can't really remember if I actually heard them or not. However, this is the third album by the Brazilians and I suppose what we're all expecting is the grand ceremony to celebrate their return. Or at least I'm guessing they're expecting that.

With one foot in power metal and the other in some sort of progressive heavy metal, 'The Devil's Dance' is nothing but a complete disappointment from beginning to the end. I didn't have any expectations but the whole thing is just loaded with small shortcomings all over the album. The production is just tragic with the sound lacking power and nothing that brings out the good and qualities in the music. The vocals sound strained and uninteresting, the bass can't be heard at all and this gives the whole album a weak and flat sound, which isn't helped by the fact that the songs are boring and nothing actually happens in the 55 minutes that the album last.

There's only seven songs on the album, but the running time on them are quite preposterous. More than half of the songs are over 6 minutes and I especially find the concluding, 22 minutes long song at the end extra puzzling. I guess they're goal was to make something grand and epic song at the end where they really shine with their song writing and show how good they are at playing their instruments. Unfortunately, they aren't good at writing grand and epic songs, they don't shine with they're instruments and the whole thing just ends up being a tedious road towards the end of the album when you finally can turn it off.

Perhaps it sounds like absolutely everything with 'The Devil's Dance' is bad and there's nothing good at all on it, which is a bit excessive. There are quite a lot of positives on this album as well, unfortunately i just have a hard time mentioning any of them without adding a "but" behind them. Like the fact that vocalist Felipe Travaglini has a pretty impressing voice when he sings in the higher regions, but since he mostly sings in the mid range you don't really hear that since his mid range voice is quite bad. Or we can mention the guitars, which are really good often, but since the bass can't be heard most of the guitars just sound cheap and garage-ish rather than impressing. We can mention lots of good stuff going on in the songs, but since they all go on forever they also get a lot of shit in there as well. And I can go on like that forever, everything good is ruined by everything bad and the end result is an album with certain qualities that still feels pretty boring overall.

What I can credit 'The Devil's Dance' for is decent power metal album, or decent progressive power metal album. But if you like this kind of music, there's just so many better bands to go for and therefore I can't see any point in buying this album unless you're a stone cold collector of everything from this genre or everything Brazilian. The fact that you then would chose to play it when there's so many albums that doesn't have all this "buts" is just not very likely.




Label: MS Metal/Connecting Music
Three similar bands: The Storyteller/Fates Warning/Blaze
Rating: HHHHHHH (3/7)
Reviewer: Caj Källmalm

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