Continuing the DR (digital release)concept began by Mortal Music and veteran metallers Ion Vein of taking a snap shot of an album of music and releasing it into the market a “chapter” at a time’, the pair has just released the next instalment in the riveting and impressive IV v2.0 from the band. The new three track instalment in the passage to the full album is just like its predecessor IV v1.0, a vibrant and thrilling slice of progressive and classic laced metal.
The gap between their last album Reigning Memories released in 2003 and the first EP of last year was a long wait for fans and most likely an impatient one for something from the Chicago band which formed in 1995 but the release showed the band was as mighty and inventive as ever, in fact at their strongest to date. Founder and guitarist Chris Lotesto, vocalist Scott Featherstone, bassist Rob Such, and drummer Chuck White, have continued their impressive return with a trio of songs on like its predecessor, the Neil Kernon (Nile, Nevermore, Queensryche, Redemption) produced EP, a release which leaves the majority of emerging melodic metal bands in the shade.
The opening song Seemless accosts the ear with thumping rhythms and delicious senses churning riffs which are all muscle and simple but effective enterprise. Settling into a more reserved gait though the track strokes the ear with a rich melodic ambience whilst the pulsating bass of Such prowls and probes the ear magnificently. The vocals of Featherstone are as expressive and powerful as ever, and though he may not be the vocalist with the greatest range in metal he persistently delivers an immense presence and passion to each song which flares up superbly within the equally fiery sounds, as proven on the first song of the release. The rich guitar explorations of Lotesto dazzle without indulgence to stoke greater fires within the already burning appreciation of the stylish composition and its skilful and inspiring presence whilst that rapacious bass switches on primal needs as eager as the sonic caresses tease out a devouring greed for more.
Fools Parade steps forward next to elevate things to an even greater plateau, the stalking riffs and sonic scorching an acidic feast veined by the tightly controlled yet hungrily barbed rhythms of White. Weaving through corridors of energy and an enveloping furnace of passion and imaginative melodic invention, the track has a loud whisper of the John Bush fronted Anthrax which adds extra richness to the stomping presence of the enjoyably resourceful song. It stands as the best track on the EP with ease though the final piece of engagement in the form of This is Me completes the EP with an expressive relish and melodic metal strength which rivals. The track winds itself around the ear with provocative riffs and further excellence from the sonic inventiveness of Lotesto to invite a feisty response in thought and passion for the creative flames within it and the whole release.
Arguably the concept being employed raises as much impatience as satisfaction when the tracks are as strong and enthralling as they are on both EPs to date and the want to dive into the full length lying at the end of it all overwhelming, both extremes of emotions rife because of the great sounds and songwriting within the impressive stature of the releases. Bottom line though is that IV v20 is an accomplished piece of metal which just hits the spot from every angle and thrills throughout.
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