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  -  Ivoryline - Vessels (http://www.absolutepunk.net/showthread.php?t=1822192)

Drew Beringer 07/26/10 10:35 PM

Ivoryline - Vessels
Release Date: July 27, 2010
Record Label: Tooth & Nail

You know the type. Bands that employ soaring vocals, huge guitar riffs, and the right balance between aggression and melody seem to also pique our interest. And when it's done right? We go absolutely bonkers. Everyone is quite aware of the site's obsession with Anberlin, Acceptance, etc., so it should come as no surprise that people are falling head over heels for Ivoryline. Their 2008 Tooth & Nail debut, There Came A Lion, gave us a glimpse into the band's potential. Nearly two and a half years later, and Ivoryline's latest offering, Vessels, is sure to shoot up many fan's 'Favorite' lists on last.fm.

While the thirteen track Vessels isn't extremely different than There Came A Lion, you can definitely hear the improvement and refinement in the group's songwriting. The production on this disc was handled by Aaron Sprinkle (who produced Lion as well), so it should come as no surprise that the production here is excellent. He lets Jeremy Gray's voice sound as powerful as ever without having it drown out the music. In fact, the intensity first heard on Lion is taken to the next level here. Throw in some tracks that show the band at their most ethereal for good measure, and what you'll have is the Tyler, Texas, quartet delivering on the promise shown from their debut.

In what can only be described as a dream come true for ears everywhere, former Acceptance vocalist Jason Vena joins Gray on the album's invigorating opener, “The Healing.” As the guitar riffs come out a-blazing (courtesy of Dusty Kittle), Gray and Vena join forces to create a vocal harmony very few bands will match. The band can also write some killer melodies, as tracks like “With The Daylight” and “Hearts Open” are the type of catchy rock songs you want to hear on the radio.

But the majority of “Vessels” feature anthemic and aggressive songs. Gray's voice fires away over pummeling guitar chords from Kittle (“Walking Dead”), while bassist Robert Woodward and drummer Wes Hart set the tone on “Search Me Out” and “No One Else.” Truly, the in-your-face, fist-pumping rocker is Ivoryline's bread and butter (the title track and “The Greatest Love”), but a few tracks here prove that the band is capable of much more. The beautiful “Made From Dust” sounds like it was risen from the ashes of Copeland, as the celestial verses take Gray's falsetto and forge forward to the collision of crashing cymbals and and rising riffs.

In the end, Vessels is a definite step up for the band, as they've beefed up and refined their musicianship and expanded their boundaries. Sure, some of the same things that plague the last record are present (songs get stagnant/blend, lyrics are weak at times), but it occurs less frequently. Vessels is a very good record, while the next record Ivoryline unleashes could potentially be great. But the sincere, ferocious, and revealing nature of Vessels will keep fans occupied until then.

Additional InformationTrack Listing:
1. The Healing
2. With The Daylight
3. Search Me Out
4. Instincts
5. Hearts Open
6. Vessels
7. No One Else
8. Walking Dead
9. Broken Bodies
10. The Greatest Love
11. Made From Dust
12. Naked
13. You Bring Fire
Produced by: Aaron Sprinkle

Ivoryline is:
Jeremy Gray - vocals
Robert Woodward - bass
Dusty Kittle - guitar
Wes Hart – drums

Official Myspace; Official AP.net Profile; Official Twitter Account

billyboatkid 07/26/10 10:44 PM

Because this album came out I decided to listen to their first.. Interested to hear this.

Good review.

Argentine 07/26/10 11:24 PM

I've never given this band a chance to be honest. Perhaps I should get on that...

Most of Tooth and Nail's roster is solid.

henry chinaski 07/26/10 11:38 PM

nice review. i'd give a higher score for creativity though. in my oppinion they have really good ideas compared to many other bands in their genre. kind of have a unique sound. the production is sweet. will get this soon.

red8ge 07/27/10 12:35 AM


Argentine 07/27/10 12:40 AM


Originally Posted by red8ge (Post 71971092)

He mentioned the site being head over heels for Anberlin and Acceptance so maybe there's that.

red8ge 07/27/10 02:14 AM


Originally Posted by lalaKR@dr1cx (Post 71971302)
He mentioned the site being head over heels for Anberlin and Acceptance so maybe there's that.

X-) how the hell did i miss that..

Argentine 07/27/10 02:28 AM


Originally Posted by red8ge (Post 71972962)
X-) how the hell did i miss that..

Haha, nah it's cool. I go straight for the RIYL's sometimes too.

roisterboy 07/27/10 06:56 AM

Ivoryline this week! JEW and Anberlin late September! My ears are going to be busy for the next couple months!

XenoAbe 07/27/10 07:42 AM

I thought this record was outstanding so I thought the score was a bit low. Just curious, but what makes you believe the lyrics are subpar? I've always liked their lyrics.

Drew Beringer 07/27/10 07:45 AM


Originally Posted by XenoAbe (Post 71979252)
I thought this record was outstanding so I thought the score was a bit low. Just curious, but what makes you believe the lyrics are subpar? I've always liked their lyrics.

I like the lyrics on the majority of the album.

xsinkshipsx 07/27/10 07:50 AM

Their progression is similar to that of anberlin (though I think that blueprints was a weaker debut than TCAL) anberlin's second album was very good while the 3rd was great. I expect a lot out of this band in the future.

Good review

trappedintime 07/27/10 07:51 AM

On my way to pick this up. Ivoryline deserves much more exposure than they get. Great review Drew, Ivoryline can do no wrong.

JuneJuly 07/27/10 08:00 AM

I shall have to pick this up. =]

Ryan Gardner 07/27/10 08:01 AM

Great review and record