IVANHOE – Lifeline

IVANHOE - Lifeline
  • 9/10
    IVANHOE - Lifeline - 9/10


Silverwolf Productions
Release date: September 26, 2008

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Ivanhoe was founded as a “garage band” in 1986 by, among others, Gio Soulas (bass) and Achim Welsch (guitars). They released their first album Visions And Reality in 1992 and continued to release two more albums before vocalist Andy B. Franck (Brainstorm, Symphorce) left in 1998. In 2001 they finally found Franck’s replacement in Mischa Mang, and they also got a keyboardist in Richard Seibel and a new drummer in Sebastian Brauchle. In 2005 they released Walk In Mindfields; an album they had been working on for three years. Now, in 2008, unveiled are the results of a band that has matured and plays the kind of Progressive Metal that the scene so desperately needs with their latest effort Lifeline.

The album opener and title track “Lifeline” has an epic opening with mystical keyboard playing. From there it gets heavy, really heavy, and suddenly there’s singing on top of a weird time signature. Well, it’s shuffling between 7/8 and 9/8 so in the end, vocalist Mang can sing it like it was 4/4. For those that have no clue as to what that means; 4/4 is the most common time signature in music in general and is also the easiest time signature to write music in. When Ivanhoe shuffles between 7/8 and 9/8 it comes down to pure mathematics; 7/8 + 9/8 is 16/8 which actually is the same as two bars of 4/4. Yes, there are tricks to make it easier even though it sounds impossible. Ivanhoe makes it sound cool and really Progressive and that is something they’ve succeeded with on every song on this record.

“Mad Power” is another cool and extremely heavy track. The verses are really cool with Mang singing first in extremely low range sounding a bit mad, before going into his high range. Mang does a great job on this record and deserves to be acknowledged in the Metal community for his fine voice. “Mad Power” is also a good example on how great the production on this album is. The bass is really rumbling in the lower registers while the guitars are filling the mid-frequencies with the keyboard filling the “blank spots.” The record is very dynamic and it’s a thrill to listen to.

“Angels Hologram” is a slower song than the previous songs on the record and the Progressive elements are not as visible here either. It starts with a keyboard with a music box sound and Mang’s voice, even more passionate than before. It’s a beautiful and powerful song you’ve just got to like. Even when they start breaking up the time signature and playing solos they preserve the mighty feeling that the string sound from the keyboard provides. This is definitely one of the highlights of the record.

“Cheops” is, as the title suggests, an oriental inspired song, both lyrically and musically. What’s so great about this song is that it deviates from the rest of the songs in one way, but still there’s no doubt about who plays the song. There are long melodic instrumental parts in this song, but there are also parts with more technical playing from both the guitars and the keyboard. One thing that’s really great about Richie Seibel’s keyboard playing is that he often uses real piano sound. This is not so common with new Progressive Metal bands and it’s an element to this kind of music that we should hear more often. It really brings forth Seibel’s technical skills in a different way than if he had made use of the more usual keyboard sound, and it also suits Ivanhoe’s music much better.

There is no questioning the band’s technical skills as they continue to prove their ability to write great music and to play it throughout the record. You can definitely hear the Queensrÿche and Dream Theater inspiration in their songs, but Ivanhoe is one of very few Progressive Metal bands that dare to play Progressive Metal without mixing it up with Power Metal. All honor to Ivanhoe for being that brave. Lifeline is a great album from the very beginning to the end of its fifty-one minutes of total running time. Every Metal fan should pick up this album, not only the Prog-fans out there. This album has something to offer everyone!


Mischa Mang – Vocals
Achim Welsch – Guitars
Gio Soulas – Bass
Chuck Schuler – Guitars
Richie Seibel – Keyboards
Sebastian Brauchle – Drums


  1. Lifeline
  2. Mad Power
  3. Schizophrenic
  4. Suffering
  5. Angels Hologram
  6. Time Machine
  7. Finally
  8. You’ll Burn
  9. Cheops


  • Kristian Singh-Nergård

    Kristian is one of the partners at Metal Express Radio. He is Metal Express Radio's Marketing and Communications Manager, and on occasions also reviewer and photographer. Based out of Oslo, Norway, Kristian is a bass player and owner of the independent record label Pug-Nose Records. He has been a proud member of the Metal Express Radio crew since 2006.

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