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Ivanhoe - Systematrix CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.26 | 12 ratings

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Second Life Syndrome
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Ivanhoe. The very name sounds so medieval and, well, trite. This German band has been around since the 80s, but I'd honestly never heard anything from them until their new release, 'Systematrix'. One look at the creepy cover, and I had to hear this album.

So, Ivanhoe is basically just a progressive power metal band. Much like my recent review of Opposing Motion's latest, I can't get past the fact that I've heard all of this. However, Ivanhoe does have a step-up on Opposing Motion: I found 'Systematrix' to have a little more inventiveness to it. As a prog power metal band, Ivanhoe gives us the standard bellowing vox, the ridiculous guitars, the chest-beating drums, and the pulsating bass lines. That's pretty standard, and they don't really deviate from it.

Where Ivanhoe shines, however, is their song structures and riffs. Other power metal bands tend to contain little or no prog influence, but Ivanhoe displays their progressive banner with some stunning structural tricks. For instance, the multi-track song 'The Symbiotic Predator' contorts the norm into an awesome multi-genre affair. This song gives me hope for future Ivanhoe efforts. The band also plays with their riffs. I found some of the riffing to be very original and interesting: They never seem to settle for the normal grinding. Instead, we get riffs with extreme highs and lows.

This is a solid album. I do take issue with the vocals, as they are annoying. However, aside from that, this band has released a good album that power metal fans will really enjoy.

Second Life Syndrome | 3/5 |


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