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Review: Ivory Knight - Unconscience
Ivory Knight

Label: Independent
Year released: 2005
Duration: 50:34
Tracks: 10
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: March 19, 2005
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers Rating

Rated 4/5 (80%) (6 Votes)

It's been four long years since Ivory Knight released their first album "Up From The Ashes". One characteristic of that one is that it walked the fence between hard rock and melodic heavy metal, tip-toeing on either side of the fence depending on the song. Things have changed with "Unconscience", and there's a least one strong foothold on the metal side this time around, with only the occasional loss of balance toward the other side of the fence. Alright enough with the imagery. ;) The first thing one will notice is the much improved production, no doubt a result of John's increasing experience, coupled with the mixing and mastering by Jeff Waters (of Annihilator fame.) "Up From The Ashes" lacked a bit in the production department, with the instruments often buried far behind the vocals. Things are more even this time around and the instruments finally take their due place, especially with a strong, crunchy and heavy guitar sound.

Compared to its predecessor, "Unconscience" is much heavier, more aggressive and much less light-hearted. This is a release with a dark aura surrounding it, albeit with some more up-beat moments. The lyrical content alone is quite on the "negative" side (for lack of a better word), often very pissed off, and it transpires well through the music - you don't even need to listen to the lyrics to get the feeling that this is not some fairy tale album. John's melodic vocals are still present and as good as ever, but this time he also often uses a much harsher (but clean) style, and that alone is quite a change from the debut, where the vocals (I should say: album) are much more tame. And if that's not enough, a look at the cover with the knight surrounded by bullets is indicative enough. Even the thanks list shows some exasperation toward some people and various events - I must say I almost fell off my chair while reading that booklet! While on that, I must mention that the graphic design is much more refined this time around, with a professional cover art and equally professional layout inside.

The album is a bit of a grower. I didn't like it on the first and second listen, but after that it really started sinking in, and this is also one of those albums where paying attention to the lyrics really help immerse yourself into the music. This is definitely not as straightforward as the previous album and their acclaimed 1988 demo. Those who might have dismissed the previous album as too melodic might want to give this one a shot: You're in for a surprise. A good sophomore effort. It took a while for it to come out, but it was worth the wait.

Other related information on the site
Review: Show at The Whipping Post (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Unity (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Up From The Ashes (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Voices In Your Nightmares (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Interview with vocalist/bassist John Devadasan Perinbam on July 5, 2001 (Interviewed by Michel Renaud)
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