Released: 2001, Independent
Ivory Knight is a band who’s name evokes thoughts of power metal, galloping guitars, double kicks, speed, etc…well my ideas and hope of this being a speedy power metal album were shot down after hearing this CD. The style of music on here is hard rock. Ivory Knight is based out of Ottawa, Canada. Far from a metal hotbed, I bet when these guys start doing shows in support of their CD they will do quite well for themselves.
The vocals on UP FROM THE ASHES are very good in the clear and high category, but in my opinion need some direction. Vocalist John D. Perinbam can hit the notes, at times even reaching to a King Diamond like register. There are some places where he did sound like he was straining his voice a bit to me. He also can sing heavy, in an abrasive thrash metal style. This is evidenced in the song “True Signs of Life” which was easily my favorite song on here because it brought the tempo up and was for the most part a metal song, not hard rock! I can’t help it, my tastes don’t fall that much into the hard rock side of things, it’s the heavy metal elements that naturally attract me. The vocals also stood out on this one with the mixing of the clean voice with awesome screams and the more abrasive singing. The solo in this one is very cool, long and ripping. The CD’s opening track (not the intro) “Into The Black” grabbed my ear and the chorus really sticks with you with it’s strong and powerful vocals. The place on this album where I was thinking, “what are they playing this for” is “Last Dance” which is a very sappy and way too light – especially on the chorus and the backing vocals on it….ughh. The guitar at the beginning reminded me of “Sweet Child ‘O Mine” by G’NR!!?!. One other song that was a ballad but which was not that bad was “Picture of Innocence.” This one is a bit more interesting despite the beginning being almost identical to Yngwie J. Malmsteen’s “Dreaming (Tell Me).” My other constructive criticism here would be that the rhythm guitar sound is weak. I would have preferred something a bit thicker and rawer. It’s clear this guy’s forte is his lead playing because he can totally shred when required!! That’s the thing with this band. The drums, vocals, bass and guitars all prove that there is some serious talent in the band. What they didn’t do is put that talent to as good of use as I think they could! I’m not saying they need to rip off some other band and clone them, I just think that if they picked up the tempo in a few more places, had more flowing faster rhythms and more speed it would grab more people’s attention!
If you are looking for hard rock in an age when it seems like very few bands are still making this style of music then look for Ivory Knight. You will hear the influence of bands from the 80’s in their sound such as Dokken and Guns ‘N Roses along with stuff like Megadeth. Make no mistake; this is not just a retro band. I look forward to hearing more music from the band, hopefully next time a tad bit heavier.