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Ivory Tower - It/Subjective enemy 3.5/5

Reviewed: 1-25-08


1. World of being
2. Peace of mind
3. Access denied
4. A call from the core
5. Where are you?
6. The letter
7. The rise
8. It
9. It grows
10. This world is mine
11. Welcome
12. Reflection of reality
13. Creating it
14. Shadows
15. Inside the maze
16. The fall
17. The awakening

One of the first bands that got me into progressive power metal was Germany's Ivory Tower. Their excellent 's/t' debut remains a favorite of mine to this day, and ever since their solid 2nd CD 'Beyond the stars', I've been eagerly waiting for their 3rd CD 'It'. This CD is different than their previous CDs, in that it's a concept album; a story about a man with multiple personalities who starts to drift to his evil side until he realizes what he's becoming. He then tries to change himself, but realizes his evil side cannot be easily changed, and this evil personality is named "It".

As with most CDs that tell a story, there are some short interludes, 6 of the 17 tracks to be exact, though the intro "World of being" is also short. Another aspect that's stood out as a difference with this CD (compared to their previous CDs), is that it's overall less progressive and the speed has been kept to a minumum as well. In fact, track 2 "Peace of mind" and track 15 "Inside the maze" are the only songs with a lot of speed, while more than half of the 's/t' debut (for example) was fairly fast-paced. Actually, most of 'It' could be labeled straightforward and mid-paced melodic metal. Nothing wrong with this of course, as the band writes very good songs regardless, but it is a difference worth mentioning.

There are similarities with their previous CDs too. Firstly, the instantly-recognized and high-pitched voice of Andre Fischer is once again present, clear as ever, and this has been a very pleasing aspect for me personally. Also, their usage of background/atmospheric keyboards is done in the same manner as it was when the band began way back in 1998. Songs structures will sound familiar as well, and the 11-minute track 17 "The awakening" (which finishes the CD) will bring back memories of the final song ("Blinded") from their 's/t' debut, which clocked in at 14 minutes. Only one ballad exists (track 6 "The letter"), but it's nicely done.

As for the overall quality, most of the songs on 'It' are very good and some are great, but I must admit that my favorite 2 or 3 songs from the band remain on their 's/t' debut. This is a solid CD though, and if you have and enjoy their previous CDs, this is certainly recommended. Do expect less of the progressive elements and more pure melodic metal, but if you're one of those guys/gals that's been waiting a long time for this 3rd CD, I think you'll be plenty satisfied.

NOTE: 'It' was re-released in 2008 under the name 'Subjective enemy', with new cover-artwork and with renamed tracks...


1. Listen!
2. Warning
3. Access denied
4. The calling
5. Answers
6. Words
7. Rise
8. Subjective enemy
9. Breakthrough
10. My world
11. Welcome to
12. Nails
13. Construction site
14. Aware
15. Keys
16. Fall
17. Awake




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