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Ivory Knight - Unconscience - 2005 - Self Released

Track Listing
1. Up From The Ashes
2. Borderline
3. Holy Martyr
4. Unconscience
5. Introspective
6. The Unseen Enemy
7. In Fog I Walk
8. Theater Of The Insane
9. Eleven
10. Waiting For Tomorrow
I have spent a great deal of time with this rather comprehensive Canadian act. Classified as "classic heavy metal", I really find that term to be a rather loose description at best, with Ivory Knight offering a tremendous amount of diversity and technical elements to a backdrop of a classic or traditional sound. "Unconscience" marks the group's second full length album, the follow-up to the band's "Up From The Ashes" debut back in 2001. As the debut was completely produced by the band, this time around they get a big helping hand from a fellow Canadian. Annihilator mastermind and possibly fastest speed picker around, Jeff Waters, lends his mastering touch to this impressive effort, really putting a final spin on a rather early 80s production sound, with plenty of modern groove oriented stomps that fit nicely in the mix.

At times Ivory Knight sound like a hard rock act, other times the most notorious of power metal frenzy. Frontman John Devadasan Perinbam is a supreme commander-in-chief, recalling the finest moments of Zak Stevens, but really identifying with the audience in a more subdued manner. That is really the fascinating part about this band, the ability to go large and lethal with a ripping thrash sound but never compromising the ideals and principles of the traditional approach. Guitarist Rob Gravelle lists James Hetfield and Yngwie Malmsteen as influences, and both are clearly put on display here. Gravelle is really a string wizard, blazing along in an almost speed metal approach (Agent Steel at times), other times just hopping along in a merry rock way. Bassist Steve Mercer and drummer George Nesrallah round out the four piece, adding in their sharp talents to make this sophomore effort one that is truly a shining moment.

For me I think Ivory Knight fits well with fans of Evergrey, Symphony X, Kamelot, and even Conception. But by no means is this group as progressive as the above. Very few keyboards are present, and really the band don't show off many progressive moments. But it is the arrangements, the odd, quirky tracks that seem to push the band to the boundaries of power, into the Psychotic Waltz/Lethal forms of power-prog. Favorite cuts for me are the more straight forward affairs, with songs like "Holy Martyr" and "Borderline" really putting on display this band's specialty.

Note - This is some of the best packaging I've seen out of an indy band this year. Also, the group gets the award for best band business card! It is the little things...




--EC 05.24.05

About this Writer:
Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has served as senior editor for MaximumMetal.com for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia.

Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



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UnconscienceIvory Knight
2005
Eric Compton6/24/2005


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