Label: Tooth and Nail
Release Date: June 27, 2010
Reviewer: Joshua Clark
- The Healing
- With The Daylight
- Search Me Out
- Hearts Open
- No One Else
- Walking Dead
- Broken Bodies
- The Greatest Love
- Made From Dust
- You Bring Fire
Ivoryline released their debut album There Came a Lion to Tooth & Nail Records on February 8, 2008. They released a pretty solid album, yet sounded like a lot of bands out there, with Anberlin leading the pack of comparisons. Also as good as all of the songs were, they all blended together and had a very similar feel. Which took away with how good the band sounded and their ability to actually craft some good songs. “Days End” was pretty darn sweet in my opinion, as well as “Be Still and Breathe.” For the most part I had enjoyed their debut, it just became a struggle to listen to all the way through just because a lot of it blended too much. But I felt the vocalist had some good pipes and the band was pretty solid in the music department, so there was definitely potential for their follow up album.
Fast-forward to June 27th, 2010 and Ivoryline’s follow up album Vessels is released. I had heard the single “Instincts” and was impressed with that track, so I was pretty pumped to get the new album. When I finally got the new album, I have to say I was rather pleased. They enhanced their sound from the first album, built upon it and crafted a pretty strong album.
Ivoryline offers some hard-hitting honesty in their lyrics, which is really refreshing from hearing a band, especially in a market where several bands tend to sugar coat their lyrics. It’s awesome how the band truly has a genuine heartfelt message in their music. There was not a single song that I didn’t find some sort of message that any believer could find encouraging or something that would convict the listener. The lyrics are a big highlight of the album and give you something to chew on.
With so many great tracks on the album and powerful messages on each track, I will only touch on some of the highlights or my favorites from the album.
The album opens strongly with “The Healing,” with an alternative rock sound and the nice falsetto of vocalist Jeremy Gray. In this song the band tackles spiritual humbling, that we could never earn the love of Christ and we are only healed through the fact he offers his love to us. With that note the album kicks off from here with just as powerful messages and an enjoyable alterative pop/rock sound.
A song I found very enjoyable after many listens was the 2nd track “With the Daylight.” Not only is it a catchy track but also it offers a great message of even though you feel pain and heartache, by letting grace and love take a place inside your heart all you have to do is ask for Christ and you will find peace. Great lyrics on how the darkness is pierced by the light and that you will come out with the daylight feeling the love of Christ.
“Instincts” was one of my favorite songs when I heard it prior to the album being released. Not only was it a fitting choice as a single, but it is also one of the strongest tracks on the album and very enjoyable rock track. Also having a strong message like the rest of the album, it offers a catchy chorus.
I really found myself enjoying the chorus on “Hearts Open.” This song gives a great reminder for all, that we are all in need and only one thing will fill that need.
“Everyone here can be sure of one thing
We’re all in need, we’re all in need
Our souls are aching but our hearts are open
We’re all in need, we’re all in need
But the next few tracks also have some good messages and are catchy rock tunes. “Vessels” and “Walking Dead” standing out among the others, but I really cannot say I didn’t enjoy the other tracks; they were just enjoyable. Some aren’t as great as others but whether it is the message or the music, there is something good you can pull out of these songs.
It’s nice how the band worked to increase the variety of the songs and you can get a different feel for the songs instead of all of them running together, like many on their debut fell prey to. This really helped out in this album making numerous songs enjoyable and making the strong qualities of each track stand out.
Another track on the album that is worth mentioning is the 2nd to last track “Naked.” This song has such a great message and some sweet music to go with it. It has some good stuff to think about and is a rather poetic song. It’s a good way to wrap up the album. Check out these lyrics:
“We’re naked and so ashamed of it,
How dearly we have all paid for this.
We’re naked and so ashamed of it,
We’ve been running from ourselves ever since.”
Overall:I actually could not have been more impressed with this follow up album. For me it was leaps and bounds above Ivorylines debut and just shows them really growing as a band. There’s not too much too complain about with this album. Sure the comparisons to Anberlin and similar bands are still there, as well as Ivoryline’s sound isn’t reinventing the wheel. But what is here is done very well and is a catchy, fun alternative pop/rock album. As well as the lyrics are great and are definitely a strong point in the album. Ivoryline’s Vessels is indeed something worth checking out.