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Ivanhoe - Blood and Gold CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.35 | 8 ratings

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3 stars 19/12/20 --> It would appear my initial 4 star rating back in May of this year was a bit of an over reaction. The pandemic and scarcity of quality released around the time made this record stand out more than it should have. It is still a fine record with all the strengths outlined below. It's just not 4 star material.

--- As the apex of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic seems to be behind us and we attempt, however feebly, to restore normalcy to our lives, a healthy dose of immediate and passionate old-school progressive heavy metal, the kind served up on this record, can really go a long way in setting the mood.

The music on Blood and Gold is driven forward by melodic guitar leads and Bruce Dickenson-like vocals backed by your usual arsenal of prog-metal keyboard synths and harmonies. While this description applies to literally hundreds of modern prog metal acts, Ivanhoe manages to set themselves apart through tight song writing. At a lean 38 minutes and 37 seconds, the record has no time for filler. Blood and Gold comes out swinging on the first four tracks and closes it out with elegance. Ivanhoe are confident enough in their sound that they don't feel the need to prove their prog chops with unnecessary meandering.

Ivanhoe have been around 80's. Ostensibly, their long career has not materialized much in the way of fame or wide-scale recognition, even by the modest standards set by progressive music. And yet their passion for music keeps them going. On Blood and Gold, we all get to enjoy that passion right along with them.

ssmarcus | 3/5 |


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