|Review: Ivanhoe - Systematrix|
Label: Massacre Records
Year released: 2013
Genre: Progressive Metal
Review online: August 11, 2013
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Rated 2.75/5 (55%) (4 Votes)
Ivanhoe's Systematrix presents me with a problem. This band of competent musicians has created a Progressive Metal album full of idiosyncratic song structures and eclectic time signatures couched in heavy riffs and pleasing melodies. There are definitely some engaging ideas on the album. However, those same guitars are down-tuned and the songwriting is modern, not to the point of core, but flirting with it pretty hard. The choruses are almost all choppy and the vocals, while fine when viewed independent of the music, don't fit the style so none of the songs have much flow. I can see how some Progressive Metal fans will find some value in Systematrix, especially as the album progresses and relies more heavily on actual Progressive Metal. I don't want to slag it just because I don't like it, but the combination of Threshold-style Prog with down-tuned guitars and Hair Metal vocals doesn't work. I'm damning it with faint praise when I say I don't hate it because, truth be told, I'll likely never listen to it again.
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