Saturday, April 28, 2007

Ivory, Manimal, Kingscrossing reviews

Ivory – Promo CD (Independent)

IVORY is an Italian band that tries to make its first "official" step, since their debut album is almost ready. The band proved to be unlucky in the past, since in 2001, their debut CD received a last minute cancellation and it has never faced a release date. It's nice to see a project become a steady band again and that happened since band members from Attitude and Meridian decided to reform Ivory again. The band's style is quite complicated, involving many different styles, something that requires excellent performances from all musicians. Progressive, fusion, Hard Rock and also many Neo-classical Metal guitar parts complete the puzzle of Ivory's sound. I was really amazed by Salvatore Vecchio's superb guitar playing, since he has an absolutely clean and flashy way of performing his parts! To be honest, I think that his guitar parts need to be multiplied in the songs! The band managed to create groovy and well-executed songs, while their performance is really meeting any high expectation. Three songs, named "Atlantis Fall", "Time For Revenge" and "Symbols Of Pyramid" appear in the promo that I have in my hands and if I am allowed to predict something, I don't think that the band will remain unsigned for long! Their music is definitely not easy-listening, but really keeps the interest of the listener high. I think bands like Ivory deserve their voice to be heard! Visit the band's mySpace profile: or their web-site at:
Dimitris Starakis

Manimal – Demo 2002, Human Nature Demo, Demo 2006 (Independent)

Manimal is a band hailing from Gothenburg, Sweden and released their first demo in 2002. The self-titled demo includes six Heavy/Power Metal songs with pretty good production. Manimal try to create songs that stuck in your mind with their memorable choruses, while their melodies are raised from the ashes of the U.S. underground Metal scene in the late 80's / early 90's! Another positive and worth mentioning fact is the voice of Samuel "Sam" Nyman. Being influenced by Rob Halford, Sam contributes a stable value in the band and he is surely a singer that will be attracted by the fans of this genre! The best song from their debut demo is undoubtedly "Ordinary Man" along with "Fly High", since they feature more complexity and also great musicianship. In 2005, Manimal released their second effort and totally blown me away! Having a much more "Progressive" attitude on their way of composing songs, but at the same time keeping their full powerful approach, the band left their mark on the songs. They tried and succeeded to do their level best by releasing a fine demo, full of wonderful songs. "Escape (once more)" is the band's ultimate track, an anthem that could have been easily released by Queensryche on their glorious days! I keep listening to this song again and again and I simply enjoy it the same every time!. "Human Nature" includes some eastern influences also, so anyone can understand that Manimal are not afraid of breaking the mould and create refreshing music that's quite impressive! I think that is a crime with a capital C leaving this band unsigned! No many bands can compose choruses and melodies like Manimal do. This is also quite clear on their latest Demo, simply entitled Demo 2006, featuring the songs "Spine Grinder" and "Shadows". The first has a haunting melody, with Sam trying to reach the borders of his voice, while "Shadows" starts with a modern groove and usually ends up being a wonderful track with melodic chorus and quite memorable moments! I'm not afraid to say that if a label releases their full-length debut, it will sell like hot cakes! So check this band! For more details on how to order or download their songs, visit their web-site: or their mySpace profile:
Dimitris Starakis
Kingscrossing – S/t CD (Independent)

Kingscrossing is the brainchild of guitarist Zak Grimm and was formed in 2002, when he moved to Las Vegas, right after he disbanded his previous project "Steele Life". Ex-Aftershock members, including singer Greg Williams, bass player Rob Shock and drummer D. Hying completed the band's line-up. They recorded their debut CD in 2005, but there's a big difference with the copy I'm holding now in my hands. The band decided to re-record the CD, since vocalist Greg Williams left on March 2006 and this incident led the band to try a new approach on the already performed songs. New singer named Michael Adams (ex Cyrus Zain) and also second guitarist Rich Pagan (ex Avatar, Spend, Original Sin) joined the band, so and this line-up the "new version" came out. Kingscrossing perform solid and really powerful Heavy / Power Metal, the American Way! Don't expect keyboards or any other additional sounds here, it's only pure sounding Metal here that rules! The self-titled track that opens the CD is their most melodic and hymn-like moment, while the rest of it includes mostly powerful, mid-tempo songs, with precise vocals and combined guitar leads from the two guitarists. In songs like "Powersource" the double guitar leads prove my previous sentence! I also enjoyed "Angels In The Night" (short but great riff!), "Stalker" (melody returns here, while power is never absent!) and "Rapid Fire". Kingscrossing's intention was to create an album with an atmosphere that can travel anyone back to the glorious 80's and I think that they couldn't have done it better! Check their profile in order to buy their CD: or visit their web-site:
Dimitris Starakis

No comments: