Released: 2000, Independent
Happy to review a third Canuknuckle-head band this month, this time the lucky winners being Ottawa power-metalers Ivory Knight. Important note is that this album is from the mid-80's, and the lineup is no longer the same. Anyhow, band leader John Perinbam tells me that a new album is one the way with a new lineup. Interesting little album we've got here, as the boys in the band have definite glam-ish tendencies in their European power sound. Perfect example: Album opener "Turn Of The Wheel". This song is, in MODO (My Own Damn Opinion, for those who don't know), is the epitome of what Ivory Knight is trying to accomplish. A heavy riff, with good vocals, a catchy melody and some sweet Dokken-ized gang vocals in the chorus, this song is awesome; easily the best song on the album.
Band leader John Perinbam plays bass and sings the lead vocals, and his experience in the music industry shows through. This guy has quite the pedigree in the metal underground, having played in many bands including Trojan Hammer and the Jeff Waters Project, both of which featured the Annihilator axe-king. As I said, his experience shows as his vocals are quite good (think a dog-whistle-less power metal voice) while he commands the bass quite capably, if a little too paint-by-numbers. Unfortunately, the production values of the CD (a forgivable 4-track machine) obscure some of the playing of guitarist Joe Nasrallah. In some songs he roars quite clearly with some really tasty riffage, while in other, quieter moments his guitar sounds like a cooked MP3. Still, the guy can obviously play and showcases some wicked lead work ("Out On The Streets", "Turn Of The Wheel"). I'm looking forward to hearing new guitarist Rob Gravelle's coming playing. Lastly, we arrive at drummer Paul Malek. I'm sorry, but George's drumming just doesn't really excite me. At times, he is out of time with the band ("Turn Of The Wheel") and the rest of his drums are simply average in that "I'm the timekeeper" sorta way. Don't get me wrong, he's not a bad drummer, but I think some original improvement is needed. Hopefully new drummer George Nesrallah will provide the missing link on the new album.
So what do you get with Ivory Knight? Well, what you get is some tasty mid-paced Gamma Ray, spiced with the best elements of commercial metal (not that hairband shite). It truly is an interesting combination, even if the vocals sometimes go a bit too far ("Voices In Your Nightmare"). Still, for a short 5-tracker, there are 3 definite original keepers here that leave me wanting to hear more. Considering the crowded nature of today's metal scene, that's an automatic winner. Contact the boys at: firstname.lastname@example.org
or visit their website: http://www.ivoryknight.com.