Hailing from Brazil, the latest work from Ivory Gates appeared in my post, out of the blue, about a week ago. The Devil's Dance is their third release, the first in nearly six years. That's how much I know. I'll add this: there's some fine talent here, a good combination of skilled musicianship and fine song composition. However, after several spins only moments charmed the ears.
Listening to the first several tracks, this is generally heavy stuff. Beyond the Black opens with blistering intensity, nearing thrash, only to moderate with confused tempo changes. The principal feature seems to be Fabricio Felix's excellent drumming, which is mammoth throughout this disc. The pace continues on Devil's Dance and Endless Nightmare. Yet, on both, you get a greater sense of Ivory Gates use melody and harmony. Serpent's Kiss clinches this feeling: melodic heavy metal combined with intrigue and melody. Under the Sky of Illusions is almost mild in parts, yet without escaping some heaviness.
The signature piece here is the immense Suite Harmony; at nearly 22 minutes it's an opus of prog metal. While epic in stature, as mentioned before, only moments seem to captivate the ear. Certainly the opening with acoustic guitar and quirky synths, and later with some guitar solos. There's repitition of the first at 12:30, in longer form, only to turn to heavier prog metal. The creativity is here, but intrigue and accessibility seem to be missing. This piece, like the entirety, requires, patience for pure listening enjoyment.
Ivory Gates' The Devil's Dance is good, but not gripping; a confusion of patient entertainment and impatient ambivalence. They succeed in demonstrating their skill, but fail to capture prolonged interest. Their strength is in the brilliant moments within most every song. If you can keep your attention (repeated listens are helpful), you will certainly be challenged. Ultimately, I suspect more promsing material in the future. Recommended.
Ivory Gates' The Devil's Dance is good, but not gripping, progressive metal; a confusion of patient entertainment and impatient ambivalence. They succeed in demonstrating their skill. Their strength is in the brilliant moments within most every song. If you can keep your attention, you will certainly be challenged.