Label: Massacre Records
Three similar bands: Dante/Lanfear/Queensrÿche
Rating: HHHHHHH (5/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm
01. Systematrix
02. Human Letargo
03. Tin Cans Liberty
04. War Of The Centuries
05. Madhouse
06. Learning Path
07. Walldancer
08. The Symbiotic Predator - Seduction
09. The Symbiotic Predator - Resolution
10. The Symbiotic Predator - Late Recognition
11. Brokers Lingua Nera
12. Symbols Of Time

Mischa Mang - Vocals
Chuck Schuler - Guitars
Giovanni Soulas - Bass
Richie Seibel - Keyboards
Mathias Biehl - Drums

1994 Visions And Reality
1995 Symbols Of Time
1997 Polarized
2005 Walk In Mindfields
2008 Lifeline


Produced, mixed and mastered by Andy Horn at Red Room
Photos by Alex Kühr

Released 2013-05-24
Reviewed 2013-06-01


Ivanhoe, a famous name mostly for the novel with the same name but perhaps a little bit for this band. A German quintet with a long experience and perhaps also a little bit of Matrix complex, at least from judging by the cover artwork which looks a bit Matrixy. 25 years they have been around and they have in that time managed six album counting this one, maybe they take their time to create the best albums possible as they don’t really release music in any faster pace. But then again, it is always good to work thing through as there are many albums in the progressive genre to which these guys belong, that really seems too little thought out with too long songs and unnecessarily complex stuff that no one can get any enjoyment from. The masters can balance complexity and accessibility while the poor bands can’t. Ivanhoe is a band I have not heard before so what about them?

Their music is complex but catchy at the same time, they do not show for endless songs or solos that does not seem to have anything to do with anything. It is a strong production that feels very well balanced, the singer is really strong as is the other performances so we definitely has a quality production in this album. And it is not as long as some other progressive albums I have stumbled upon when writing about music, although with twelve tracks playing for 56 minutes it is not exactly short either. But as most quality progressive albums it is varied enough to not appear too long.

A likeable album, there is no doubt about that. I think Ivanhoe has a very strong soundscape that makes this album very interesting, a bit of a sci-fi feel but also a very adventurous feel. Even though it isn’t exactly groundbreaking and a weakness of it can definitely be said to be the lack of exciting new angles. The band stick to conventions and they do it well. Their songs are strong and catchy, I like them all and there is no weak song on the album. Not the best progressive metal album I have heard, not even this year but that does not take away the fact that it is a strong album.

Maybe not as memorable as one would want but songs as Madhouse and Human Letargo are definitely reasonably memorable but does not really make the album that memorable. I like the album but am not certain that it is something that will remain with me for long after I have reviewed it. However, that does not detract from the fact that it is a very good album which can definitely been subscribed to the above average group which is always nice to listen to considering how this year have been going this far. So, lets just recommend Ivanhoe for anyone who likes their music complex yet easily accessible.



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