Ivory - Time for revenge 3.5/5
1. The pharaoh
2. Symbols of pyramid
3. Gates of my heart
5. Time for revenge
6. Just the eyes
7. Aeternal dance
8. Atlantis falls
9. Heaven's call
10. Gothic cathedral
Ivory is an Italian band that believe it or not was formed way back in 1996, but you've probably never heard of them, until now. They actually recorded an album in 2003 but their label at that time (Underground Symphony) never released it and to this day it's considered a demo. So we finally get their official full-length debut 'Time for revenge' and it's released through Heart of Steel Records, the label that was born from the ashes of Steelheart/Adrenaline.
Those who regularly visit Metal CD Ratings know that I'm a huge lover of Italian power metal, expecially the late-90s and early-2000s period. Well, I can tell you right away that Ivory isn't of the typical Italian power metal mold. Instead, they sit somewhere between melodic rock and melodic metal. I must emphasize the melodic aspect, as there are a lot of wonderful melodies present on this debut. They also offer up some neo-classical parts, moments that enter power metal territory, and there are even some progressive passages. So while there may be a few times on this CD that recall fellow Italians like Wonderland, Labyrinth or Vision Divine, I'd lump Ivory with the group that contains Meduza, Seven Seraphim, Reptilian, Zeelion, Ring of Fire, Silver Seraph and so on.
For the many major power metal fans that visit this site regularly, I know you're now wondering if this CD is too light. While the answer may very well be yes for some of you; for me personally, it's not too light, and while the aforementioned group (Meduza, Reptilian, etc.) isn't one that I listen to on a regular basis, if the songs are great, I enjoy the style. Ivory is the perfect example of a band that I'd call great for the style. The songwriting on 'Time for revenge' is crisp and the CD as a whole is melodic, memorable, and oozes passion. Plus, there is a fair amount of speed present, but just don't be expecting an ultra-heavy power metal CD with thundering guitars.
Ivory is fronted by Ivan Giannini, who has a slight accent (as expected), but he has a good voice and he really puts his heart into the lyrics. The more I listen to him, the more I like him, and I must say that he fits the band's music style perfectly. Another thing I like about this CD is the guitar work, courtesy of Salvo Vecchio, who offers up light but catchy riffs and some fantastic guitar solos. Mention must also be made of Andrea Marincola, the keyboard/piano player, as he does a great job of incorporating them into the rest of the music, without dominating it.
'Time for revenge' starts out in an upbeat manner, as the first 3 songs ("The pharaoh", "Symbols of pyramid" and "Gates of my heart") contain some speed and are overall of the exciting type. I like the following track 4 "Rise" a lot though, as it's a smooth song that shows the band's softer side. While ballads are hit or miss for me, I think Ivory's "Just the eyes" (track 6) is outstanding and contains everything you want in a ballad - heart-felt vocals, memorable chorus and a fantastic guitar solo. The remainder of the CD varies in tempo and is very good (though track 8 "Atlantis falls" is my least favorite song as it leans too much towards the progressive side), and really, if you dig the group of bands mentioned earlier in the review, you should be pleased with this debut.
While it's taken many years for Ivory to finally provide their full-length debut, it's obvious to me that they've gained a lot of experience and I'm confident that they can take another step forward with their next CD. I for one am hoping it's not another long period before we see it, as this is a great CD for the style and has brought a nice variety to the last few weeks of my listening.
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