Ebonivory – The Long Dream I (review)

Ebonivory, 2020

On the hunt for more new tunes, I came across Ebonivory. One watch of their “Persist” music video and I knew I needed to hop onto this band’s upcoming LP. The Long Dream I is Ebonivory’s second full-length, the previous one coming five years prior. They’ve spared no expense in preparing for this release, with several singles spawning in preparation. On June 5th, the long wait will be over, but here’s a preview of what’s to come:

A strong, succinct opening comes in the short “Introduction” where solos run amok in a proggy backdrop. “Hanmer Street” feels almost ethereal in a dreamscape intro, and when the vocals come in, they fit right at home with the bouncy instrumentals. Even the bass gets complex in the verse, and the minute unclean vocals prove to be powerful, as well. With soaring highs, Ebonivory can be likened to Periphery from down under.

The song that got me hooked on Ebonivory, “Persist” is quintessential djent with some of the punchiest guitar/bass drum tones I’ve heard in years. I get flashbacks to when I first heard ERRA’s Impulse album with this one, full of blistering melodic riffs and tight production cues. “Patting the Black Dog” is electronic bliss in the start, and uses an obtuse time signature to throw the listener for a loop. The shouting/screaming layer midway through is divine, and the guitars keep up with the fast-paced synth throughout the piece.

“Cats” puts the vocals in the limelight, excellently-supplemented by subtle effects added to the voice. Charlie Powlett’s chops are on full display here, an impressive outing for the singer. This blends into “A Colour I’m Blind To,” bringing more memorable progressions in a splendid delivery. We then enter interlude territory with “Sea Sons,” a heartfelt song to bridge the gap into “In Reverie,” another segmented, slow-paced bit played before the rest of The Long Dream I kicks back into high gear.

“Window Man” gets into the thick of things with a bit of a longer length, leaning into the unclean vocals more and setting on the lyrical theme of doubt and taking action. With another thunderstorm sample, “Explosions After Dark” opens up with a sinister hook, and has a stellar drum solo worth hearing time and time again, plus a guitar solo that’s not too shabby, either.

“Tales of Termina” has an interesting chromatic regression melody that’s easy on the ears. This one reminded me of I Am Abomination’s similar prowess, with vocal duties pushed to the limit, a synth in the backbeat driving along every now and then. “The Bluegums” is a whopping nine minutes; with bongos afoot and a long-standing bridge, this is a well-fragmented track that remains consistent in its nine-minute runtime. Last but not least, “Introvection” is another epic expedition at seven minutes.

The Long Dream I is but the first half of two in a concept format. This made for a thrilling listen, even if later tracks required some patience to push through. I’m hearing some of my favorite prog bands within the influences of Ebonivory, with enough of a unique sound to stand out in today’s climate. Put this on your radar as it releases this Friday, June 5th!

A press copy of The Long Dream I was provided courtesy of Marauder Group.