Album: Southern Cross
Release Date: July 22nd 2016
From the wonderful city of Minsk in Belarus, Ivory has released an album of a conceptual trilogy based on the “Terra Nova” expedition of Robert Scott to the South Pole. The album called Southern Cross brings an innovative sound to the symphonic metal scene which is described as symphonic metal with elements of prog-power metal. Curious how this worked out? Continue reading and find out!
Ivory is a Symphonic Epic Metal band from Minsk, Belarus. It was founded in 2008 by singer Sergei Butovsky and keyboard player Dmitry Chernyshevski. In the beginning the band played a mixture of classic hard rock and progressive rock. But in 2012, due to musical differences, the band changes most of its musicians and started to work in the field of more heavy, complex arrangements of symphonic heavy metal with elements of prog-power metal. Soon the musicians started recording their first album, a process that went on for some 3 years. In June 2015 a new track “Ulysses” was released as the first single, while in December 2015 the band finished this first album titled “Southern cross”. (According to the band biography)
The current line up consists of Sergei Butovsky (vocals), Nikita Shestitko and Kirill Movshuk (guitars), Dmitry Chernyshevski (keyboards), Stanislav Siuzev (bass) and Dmitry Pasuikevich (drums).
When listening to the album, I immediately noticed the smooth transition between the songs and as well as the variation between them. The Overture 1910 transitions into Vanitas Vanitatum as if it could be one song which to me, that is a huge accomplishment for any band.
The song Ulysses is a very clear example of the mixture of symphonic and prog-power metal. Whereas the vocals during Vanitas Vanitatum are sometimes a bit hard to hear and could have been slightly louder, the mix in Ulysses is perfect. This song reminds me of some Russian folk music (of bands such as Arkona or Alkonost) combined with the symphonic sound that we are familiar with. The chorus has a very catchy touch to it, grabbing you by your hands and taking you on a journey through the rest of the album.
My favourite song of the album, Creator, has a very happy and joyful feeling to it, which reminded me a bit of the song Flag In The Ground by Sonata Arctica. This entire track has a perfect build up, lots of dynamics and repetitive catchy lyrics making you feel ready for whatever will come your way.
The overall album is great. Diverse, yet recognizable, exciting, yet graceful, complex, yet easy listening. Mixing was executed perfectly, except for the vocals in Vanitas Vanitatum, giving the whole a very balanced sound.
I rate Ivory – Southern Cross 9/10!
Songs worth mentioning