Thursday 16 November 2017

Review: Ivardensphere – 'Hesitation'


Ivardensphere have enjoyed a great run of albums in recent years, in particular 2013's 'The Methuselah Tree' and 2015's 'Fable' which saw the band experiment with their tribal-industrial sound in interesting ways. 2017 sees the release of the band's latest full-length studio outing, 'Hesitation', and album that given its predecessors has a lot to live up to.

Ivardensphere have long since proved they can be experimental, cinematic and club friendly all in the same breath. But the challenge has shifted somewhat – as an established act who have found and perfected their sound (as well as kept up quite a heavy release schedule) they need to keep pushing their sound further and bringing in new ideas and elements to keep things interesting – and this is a challenge they are rising to.

'Hesitation' picks up where 'Exile' (released earlier this year) leaves off and feels very much like “Volume 2” in terms of the production and the ideas at work. But it isn't simply “more of the same”. Those identifiably Ivardensphere elements are present and correct noisy dissonance, apocalyptic samples, deep bass, hard but danceable beats and sheer ferocity mixing freely with elegant trance and exotic instruments. But with this familiar fingerprint is a relentless march forward. The production style of Fox only gets better and Blacker's contributions and vocals get stronger with every passing album.

Songs such as 'Where?', 'Pray For The Day', 'Align – Get In Line – Stay Alive', 'Surface Tension', 'Hesitation', 'Red Sun Black', 'Rapture' and 'Shroud' are assimilate a wide-range of influences but always maintain that rhythmic groove appeal that is at the core of Ivardensphere but with eyes fixed firmly on the horizon.

'Hesitation' is another strong outing from a band that have reconciled their past with their ambitions and provides so much potential for future albums to explore. There is so much going on here but the band distil it all in a way that just works so well, and once again proves that they are a band that despite their successes still feel like they have everything still to play for.  

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