Ivory Gates - Shapes of Memory - 2002


Ivory Gates is a young Brazilian band formed in the year 2000. In their beginnings Hugo Mazzotti (bass) and Matheus Armelin (guitar) began to compose some tracks for what would be their first album. After 6 months of hard work they decide to complete the line up with Fabricio Félix (drums) and later on with the singers Miguel Puppin and Verusca Camillo. When already having the perfect line up, Ivory Gates started to work in composition and arrangements. An arduous task that takes them some months working on it. In October they decide to record its first CD which was finished in August of the following year. At the end of the recording they had the help of the keyboardist Orlan Charles playing some solos & symphonic parts. Therefore they concluded the recording and the album was released by a Brazilian record company (Megahard Records) contributing to a bigger promotion of the band in their country and the rest of the world.


Well, the band´s history was told. I will start my job that is to review this CD.
As they say, I also percieve influences of Fates Warning and Queensryche in the begining of the CD. Mr Mazzotti & Mr Armelin are very present in all the tracks. You will appreciate this in "Unchained" (with resemblances to Dream Theater) and "The Witness". Continuing the meticulous listening of the album we can see that the tracks are very long (8 and 9 minutes) and that maybe we can cloy ourselves. When arriving to the 4th track called "Masquerade" we can percive that Miguel Puppin is a great singer going in the same way of his mates. In this track Puppin highlights above the other instruments being centered in its majority in the vocal parts. This time is when we find the first fault of the album. The next track is "Trascendence" where they begin to be a bit repetitive and monotonous carrying the songs of slow rhythms. An 8 minutes track with the same tempo can be too monotonous. In "Images Reflected" we find changes and the CD goes in a faster way. We find complicated rhythms and compasses. In this track it is necessary to highlight a great guitar solo by Armelin. Finally we find the last track called "What I believe". The song begins like the previous ones. During the first three minutes we enjoy with instrumental parts until an beautiful guitar & vocal part by Puppin and Verusca, but if we were sleeping they return with faster parts. Continuing the listening we percieve that the tempo is going up and the music grows in interest. They conclude with the same initial keyboard melody closing this CD called "Shapes of memory".


I haven´t listened to many Brazilian progressive bands but I think that Ivory Gates (with work and perseverance) will be an well-known band, they can take a place inside the Brazilian and world progressive scene. Unfortunately I will reiterate myself in the monotony of some parts and in the little participation of their second voice Verusca Camillo who has very good voice. To have a female voice in a band it is a privilege. Both can sing 50%-50%!

Good Luck!

author - date - rating - label

Germán Villén - December 2002 -   - Megahard Records