Ivadell, The Young Design

By Patrick Wall
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Ivadell
The Young Design
(Bitter Melody)

I don’t know for certain that Ivadell takes its name from the Mineral song “For Ivadell,” but given The Young Design, the new local heavy’s debut EP, I’d wager good money on it.

Like Mineral, Ivadell’s built on a blend of power and dynamics and emotion, its impassioned songs paired with a deft melodic sense, but Ivadell trades Mineral’s caterwauling for muted, moody vocals that often get buried behind walls of distortion. Certainly, Ivadell’s broad musical palette extends well beyond first-wave emo: the swelling intros and tremolo-picked guitars suggest post-rock; the thick guitar tones and plodding tempos hint at post-metal; the strident and ardent delivery evokes post-hardcore. Ivadell’s at its best when deploying all its tricks at once, like on the explosive chorus of “Dredge” or the droning and driving “Every Stone,” which broods like an Isis song stripped of its impressionist synths.

But it’s not always so effective. Minus its minute-plus intro, “Dredge” is far too brief, and serves as little more than an intro to “Gave In Too Soon.” “The Young Design” boils just a bit too long, churning and bubbling but without a real conclusion. And the anti-conformity sentiment of “Gave In Too Soon,” while delivered with invective, labors under overwrought lyrics. (“Trapped / In this 2,000-square-foot life”; “We’ve all been deceived / Just another pair of sheep.”)

The songs could use some nurturing, but given the band’s collective resume — its members play in hardcore up-and-comers Discourse and Darkentries — it’s very likely that they’ll develop, and soon. For now, this remains a very promising start. — Patrick Wall

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