Ivory Tower


Ivory Tower

Ivory Tower - Ivory Tower ©1998 Limb Music
1. One Life In Asia
2. A Distant Light
3. Alive
4. Falling Leaves
5. Spring
6. She
7. Music
8. Blinded

Ivory Tower began life under the rather unusual name of Ax 'n Sex, allegedly coined when the guitarist's then girlfriend accused him of preferring his axe to sex because he practiced so often. Well, the lineup changed a bit, the band picked up a new name and then released one stunning disc.

With a sound very much like that of Vanden Plas, Ivory Tower's debut shows a great deal of maturity. While there are elements of Ax 'n Sex's former sound, the growth is dramatic. This disc is a melodic power metal lover's dream. The heavy use of keyboards might push it over into the progressive metal genre as well. Wherever you classify the disc, it is am impressive outing. The keys and guitars blend into a layered sound that really works well.

The vocals are well done. Andre Fischer has a strong and appealing voice that reminds me of Leon Ozug from Aztec Jade or Peter Orillian from Inner Resonance. The lyrics are in keeping with what one expects from a progressive metal band. The songs are more wordy than the fluff that passes for music on most radio stations.

It is the play on this disc that makes it so appealing. There is a lot of energy in these songs and the technicality of the play comes out well. The songs roll and crunch and create a great atmosphere, a very pleasant listening experience. The songs all clock in at over five minutes with the wonderful, epic fourteen minute "Blinded" topping the list. These are not the perky little three minute MTV songs for those of short attention spans. There is a lot of music packed into the songs and fans of the melodic progressive metal that has a real edge to it are going to really enjoy this disc.

Review by Matthew Braymiller

Review date: 08/2000

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Beyond The Stars

Ivory Tower - Beyond The Stars ©2000 Limb Music
1. Silence
2. Secret In Me
3. Foreboding
4. Game Of Life
5. Peeping Tom
6. Beyond The Stars
7. When Thoughts Are Running Wild
8. Flight Into Self
9. Treehouse Theme

Ivory Tower's sophomore effort really blew me away. They retained the long compositions from their debut and crammed yet more music into the songs. They took the melodic element of their music and made it orchestral in scope.

One example is the nearly twelve minute long "Foreboding" that starts with a heavy chopping riff and evolves into an atmospheric eerie song without ever losing the heavy element. The sweeping nature of the songs makes for a great experience for the listener. There are swirling keys, screaming guitars and powerful vocals aplenty on this CD.

The lyrical content has been improved over the debut disc. These songs have a very obvious unity and cohesive feel. They all fit together well on this CD. The attention paid to the lyrics is another element that puts this disc several steps ahead of the debut in maturity and uniformity.

The aggressive element of the debut disc is also stepped up several notches. The edge of the first disc has been honed to a very polished heavy edge. There is a lot of technical melodic metal out there, but not much of it is this well done. Epic in scope, heavy and melodic in sound and structure, this disc will please fans of power metal and progressive metal alike.

Review by Matthew Braymiller

Review date: 08/2000

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