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Ivory Tower

Progressive Metal

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Ivory Tower Stronger album cover
3.58 | 5 ratings | 2 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2019

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Offer (6:10)
2. Loser (5:08)
3. End Transmission (5:57)
4. Money (5:17)
5. In Me (6:11)
6. Slave (6:26)
7. Strong (6:08)
8. Flight Of The Dragon (2:29)
9. Life Will Fade (5:20)
10. Passing (7:44)
11. The Wolves You?ve Let In (7:05)
12. One Day (12:23)

Total time 76:18

Line-up / Musicians

- Dirk Meyer / vocals
- Sven B?ge / guitar
- Frank Fasold / keyboards
- Bj?rn Bombach / bass
- Thorsten Thrunke / drums
- Dennis DeYoung / vocals (5)

Releases information

CD Massacre Records - MAS DP1089 (2019, Germany)

Thanks to black_diamond for the addition
and to TCat for the last updates
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IVORY TOWER Stronger ratings distribution

(5 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(20%)
Good, but non-essential (60%)
Collectors/fans only (20%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

IVORY TOWER Stronger reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Ivory Tower is a Progressive Metal band from Germany founded originally in 1996, but several line-up changes influenced them to change their name and Nu-metal sound to a Progressive style. After the success of other Prog-Metal bands, Ivory Tower started releasing albums under this name starting in 1998. Their 5th album, "Stronger" was released in August of 2019. Founders Sven Boge (guitar), and Thorsten Thrunke (drums) still remain with the band after all of this time and have included Dirk Meyer (vocals), Frank Fasold (keyboards) and Bjorn Bombach (bass) into their line-up. The album features 12 tracks and a run time of over 65 minutes.

The album kicks off with "The Offer" which has a strong almost symphonic metal sound to it, with a classical sounding riff being played by the guitar and the band coming in even making that sound stronger. It goes into the heavy metal sound with gruff sounding vocals that burn right through the guitar heavy riffs supported well by the synths. The beat is fast and solid, even approaching tech level at times, and the rapid attack of notes from the guitar during the instrumental break lets you know that these musicians are quite talented. Though the progressive factor is a bit light, you might not notice because of the energy and power level of the music. "Loser" begins with a fast pace, but slows to a more moderate beat as it gets established. Guitars are heavy again and Meyer's vocals continue that thick, gruff sound that surprisingly gets in a higher level even with his gravelly tone. The synth is more present in this one, but it's still the guitar that is in charge here. Again, the power and energy levels are very high, but the music is still somewhat straightforward, however, the thing that saves it all is the not-so-typical melodies. Bass and guitar kick it hard in the instrumental break.

"End Transmission" is the chosen single from the album and tends to have a more varying tempo with fast verses and a nice solid chorus at a more moderate rhythm. This track does a good job of showing the bands similarities to other prog metal bands like Fates Warning, Iced Earth and Symphony X. The track is a good choice for a single in that the melody is memorable and the progressive level is pushed up a bit more, but still quite accessible for heavy metal lovers. Nice track. "Money" is not the Pink Floyd cover you might have suspected, but is an original track that returns to the solid heaviness of the first track with that rapid fire drumming attack and heavy guitar riffs with the slight touch of symphonic metal provided by the synth line in the chorus. "In Me" features guest vocalist Dennis DeYoung from Styx who holds his own quite well here, his vocals noticeably cleaner than Meyer's, but they are still quite fitting for the solid sound of the track. The heaviness only slacks a little bit and the beat is moderate, but it is still quite a memorable and stand out track nevertheless. The track also has a better progressive sound to it but still remains on the accessible side.

"Slave" features more synth including the main riff, but continues with the accessible metal sound. "Strong" is much heavier with an almost spoken vocal, somewhere between metal rap and singing. The music is quite heavy and solid with guitars taking control again. During the vocal bridge however, the beat slows to a solid and chunky sound as the vocals suddenly get more soulful and then the guitar starts off of this beat, later returning to the fast tempo again. This is another stand out track that will grab your attention. "Flight of the Dragon" is a shorter, "token" instrumental track featuring mostly acoustic guitars playing both background and melody. "Life Will Fade" goes back to the fast and heavy sound.

"Passing" is bookended with a ballad-like attitude, but soon explodes with emotion and fast tempo. Meyer's vocals get up into his higher registers on this one but otherwise it retains the hard, heaviness of the other tracks. "The Wolves You've Let In" is a dark and slow track with a more pensive feel. Because of its quieter feel, it tends to stand out. The band joins in after 3 minutes with a nice solid guitar riff and synths, but the tempo remains on the slow side and the vocals continue with their pleading emotion. The last track "One Day" claims to be over 12 minutes, but most of that is silence. The track goes back to the heavy, fast tempo sound of most of the other tracks. The track ends with an a capella harmony and it all ends before the 7 minute mark. There is silence until 11 minutes at which time there is just some band chit-chat.

The music on this album is quite enjoyable especially for heavy metal fans. The band is quite talented and the vocals, guitar and drumming stands right up there with the best of them. However, the progressive aspect of the album is a bit lite and the music does start to take on a level of sameness by the time you get to the end. There are some great standout tracks as noted, that make it all worthwhile however, and the other tracks are good enough to not weaken things too much. The music is solid and heavy most of the time, and except for a few cases, the keyboards don't really stand out too much, but when they do, you get a slight symphonic metal vibe. Meyer is a top notch vocalist however, and that is good especially with the lyrically heavy songs. Overall, the album manages to pull itself up to a 4 star level, but whether it has longevity as such is something only time will reveal. If you love the heaviness of Fates Warning and Symphony X, you should really enjoy this album.

Latest members reviews

3 stars To Transcend The Bog There's A Progressive Metal Bog See, for me anyhow, there's a swamp- the knock-out guitar riffs, frenetic drumming, the voice using a variety of menacing/howling/passionate tones in octaves or close harmonies, shredding lead lines, the lyrics that may or may not signi ... (read more)

Report this review (#2415921) | Posted by Steve Conrad | Saturday, June 27, 2020 | Review Permanlink

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