Formed better than 25 years ago, Ivanhoe has been a fixture on the German progressive metal scene. They return after a five year absence with their sixth studio album Systematrix.
Ivanhoe's strength lies with their ability keep generally technical arrangements interesting across the album. Traditional prog wonks will catch on quickly and enjoy the band's imagination. The casual listener probably not so much. They'll have to listen carefully to catch the nuances of groove, melody, individual instrument lines, or vocal arrangements. It might be a predicament for some.
However, for a few examples, if you give Tin Cans Liberty, War of the Centuries, Madhouse, or Learning Path a chance, the listener will get the subtleties. The songs may seem a bit perplexing, maybe even slow, to start, to some, but eventually reveal rich canvas of musical intrigue and accessibility. They will also get how good Ivanhoe is at song craftsmanship and musicianship. Perhaps the unsuspecting listener should begin with the first cut Systematrix, a more straight forward metal song, or possibly Wall Dancer, which has stealthy rock groove. Or the crafty but less complex instrumental is the place to start. Regardless of how you approach Ivanhoe's Systematrix, fans and prog aficionados in general will find this a challenging listen, but delivering rich rewards. Recommended.
Ivanhoe's Systematrix is rather varied and challenging material that, if explored thoroughly, will provide a rewarding listen to prog metal fans.
Mat Sinner is both an icon and legend in the German, and the larger European, hard rock and heavy metal scene. Cranking out music since 1982, Sinner is an industrious and prolific musician and producer whether through his namesake band, the heavy metal heroes Primal ... [ Read More ]