Review | Ivory Tower – Heavy Rain

Massacre Records

Can the addition of a new singer make such impact that a band elevates so significant?

The answer is YES!

Though German power metal band Ivory Tower have never disappointed, the band (for me) failed to identify because of its classic heavy metal vocals. Musically, with the addition of Francis Soto (Mystery, Sanvoisen, Subway, Wicked Sensation, etc.) behind the mic, Ivory Tower leaps forward with much richer tone and colors, making ‘Heavy Rain’ their absolute game changer!


Opened rather subtle, with acoustic guitar plucking, ,,Black Rain” suddenly shoots into gear, stacking the band’s musical prowess. Heavy thunderous drums propel along the loud riff deployed. Progressive hooks and subtle breaks flourish with Soto displaying his vocal chops. Muscular vocals with edged soul and low growling moans, ‘Lord’ Francis injects more swagger, distancing the band’s impressive sound from its past. The dynamics are impressive, especially when the band delves deeper in the progressive genre midway. Shrugging riff carnage and sterling solo-lick trade off display Ivory Tower’s uniqueness.


Maintaining this musical diversity Ivory Tower enrolls some serious power on ,,Holy War” with the dense riff-monster ,,Holy War”, featuring fierce vocal pitches and roaring agony chants with raining keys atop.

Instantly nesting, the song packs tremendous melodic stride and power. The video single ,,Heavy Ride” is another firecracker, like Maiden injected with adrenaline, boosted toward Judas Priest metal. Nesting guitar melodies and memorable hooks pull into the nesting chorus with its unique vocal trade off. Soto roaring with force, rousing and phrasing to press the stride of the song.


,,Monster” is exactly what its title enforces. Very muscular and potent riffs and hooks are deployed amidst the progressive turmoil casted. Guitars are firing and drums lay down a rock-solid heavy metalcore reminiscent groove with expressive dynamics of bass and floor interplay. The throttle opened fully, speeding riffs at the helm, Soto phrases his lyrics with intense potency. Coverdale on acid!

Revealing their social critical engagement, Ivory Tower brings forward a series of tracks like the dystopic ,,Never” with insane vocal and musical variety combusting. Breaks and shifts align with the lyrical content, creating a wonderful momentum. Variety in play, the band reveals their prowess again.


Combusting is the agonic heavy double bass driven ,,60 Seconds” and sonic wail, meandering with diversifying riffs and guitar themes. Perhaps Soto’s strongest vocal execution, as he breathes life into the lyrical content, displaying his fierce force narrating. Breaks and tempo shifts add the deep darkness. Abject is the melodic lick suddenly occurring, enhancing the catastrophic time ticking.

Less dense, the band opens its sound like on ,,The Destination”, with jagged riffs and intricate breaks underneath keen melodic keyboard swirls and Soto moaning loud and fierce. Going more melodic, the band brings forward the wonderful ,,Recover” with hammering drumbreaks and tempo shifts, while keys are epic wailing in the back underneath synth pitches. The music is heavy as hell without lacking the melodic laurels to shine and nest.


,,The Tear” is completely different yet oozes the same creative diversity in its metallic stylistics. Flying guitar licks fly back and forth amidst the heavy groove and drum exploration. Riffs scorch, with Soto adding the right stride. Especially toward the end the song reveals its great progressive wonder. Discharging arpeggios in shred-style alongside the riff density, the guitarwork is jawdropping. Classic is the wonderful (eighties) close harmony (twin)solo morphing arpeggios weld to the suddenly towering keys. Watch Tower-ish is the sudden staccato guitar lick ringing with Apocrypha (Fredianelli) enigma. Heavy shrugging riff returns to the fold before weeping pitches to shoot the song into its double bass action. Power metal at its finest!

Expect the unexpected applies, when the band opens lucid to ,,Voices”. Colorful, before guitars start to whirl and drum breaks are unloaded. With Francis entering in the front of mix, the drums break into heavy dynamics. The atmospheric chorus is toned back to well with epic accolades before the drums start to build again. Rifting suddenly the refrain recures loaded with heavy instrumentation alternating progressive.


Ivory Tower’s ‘Heavy Rain’ is the album Ivory Tower was bound to create. Never failing, the sonic wideness is enforced by Soto’s strong vocals, creating room to move for the band’s creative powers. Its thought-provoking lyrical content in place, the musicality is immersive. It all gels much better than ever. Radiating power and stride the songs are masterful creations with depth at their display. Firing on all progressive metal engines, blending classic US Power Metal with German scene bangers of the past, Ivory Tower explores the heavy and progressive metal realms.

‘Heavy Rain’ is kicking serious ass!

Release date: 29 March 2024



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