Album Review
Ivoryline - There Came a Lion Album Cover

Ivoryline - There Came a Lion

Reviewed by
IvorylineThere Came A Lion
Release Date: February 5, 2008
Record Label: Tooth and Nail
This review was written by an AP.net staff member.
It’s been a while since Tooth and Nail Records have released something that caught my attention. I’ve been mainly unimpressed with their recent batch of new signings and releases. And then Ivoryline came along, grabbed me by the collar, and shook the hell outta me. Their Tooth and Nail debut, There Came A Lion, is an eleven track journey that is destined to get your blood flowing and put a little extra hop in your step.

While the overall concept and sound of the record is nothing we’ve haven't heard before, there is enough passion and sincerity that makes Lion stand out from the majority of bands in this watered down genre. It’s evident from the beginning with opening track “Days End.” You’ll notice that, musically, the band is somewhat of a hybrid of Anberlin and Saosin (Saoberlin?), with persistent guitars and thundering drums, each track bleeds liveliness. Even vocalist Jeremy Gray sounds like a raspy Stephen Christian.

If Gray’s vocals are the heart of Lion, then guitarists Dusty Kittle and Scott Socia are the lungs, as their guitar work and intensity breathe life into each track. They pace tracks like “Parade” with riffs that needle in and out of your ears. Or they pummel your auditory senses in combination with Wes Hart’s thunderous drumming on “All You Ever Hear.”

“Be Still And Breathe” is probably the catchiest and hardest hitting track on the album. It caught me off guard with how it starts out, with Gray’s vocals being distorted, making me think this would be some horrible stab at a dance-rock song. Instead, I was greeted by vocals and music that just rip straight through my membrane. Tracks like “And The Truth Will End This” and “Bravery” keep the album up to pace, while “Hearts And Minds” starts out a little slower with Hart’s drum work and Robert Woodward’s bass lines buoying the track and Gray’s voice carrying it. It one of those songs that builds up to a climatic ending, we’ve heard the formula before, but when executed with precision and skill, it can still have an emphatic feeling on the listener, as this track stands out from the rest on Lion. And finale “The Last Words” close out There Came A Lion the same way Ivoryline opened it: energetic and passionate.

Now, the Tyler, Texas quintet aren’t changing the face of music or making something new in the genre. Simply put, they released an album that is done well: pristinely produced and executed effectively. Fans of Anberlin, Saosin, and the like will instantly latch onto There Came A Lion and Ivoryline will quickly become their new favorite band. How long they’ll stay as their new favorite band is up in the air, as the replayability plays a factor, as some of the songs in the middle of the album become stagnant and blend together a little. But these flaws do not take away from the overall enjoyment one has when listening to this album. And while the lyrics are nothing amazing and originality is lacking, you cannot deny the passion, energy, and heart of this Lion

Additional InformationTrack Listing:
1. Days End
2. We Both Know
3. Parade
4. All You Ever Hear
5. Be Still And Breathe
6. Remind Me I’m Alive
7. Left Us Falling
8. And the Truth Will End This
9. Bravery
10. Hearts And Minds
11. The Last Words

Ivoryline are:
Jeremy Gray - vocals
Scott Socia - guitar
Robert Woodward - bass
Dusty Kittle - guitar
Wes Hart – drums

Buy it now:

Official Myspace

Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 61
09:42 AM on 02/01/08
Anton Djamoos
User Info.
No Avatar Selected
I really enjoy this album for a good rocking experience.
09:47 AM on 02/01/08
User Info.
No Avatar Selected
Out of the two most recent T&N releases (this and Number One Gun) I prefer Ivoryline. I've been addicted to this album.
09:52 AM on 02/01/08
Steve Henderson
User Info.
Steve Henderson's Avatar
I agree...T/N has released a lot of crap lately, but this was a really pleasant surprise. The best thing to come from that camp since Anberlin.

I would have actually rated this a bit higher on the vocals and production, myself - but overall, you hit it on the head.
09:52 AM on 02/01/08
Registered User
User Info.
grimis16's Avatar
i really like this cd. Especially since there hasnt been anything good released recently
09:57 AM on 02/01/08
Drew Beringer
Senior Editor - @drewberinger - Locked Groove
User Info.
Drew Beringer's Avatar
Not being a dick, just correcting something for you that I noticed:

"While the overall concept and sound of the record is nothing we’ve ever heard before,"

I think you meant:

"While the overall concept and sound of the record is nothing we haven't heard before,"
haha yeah, that's what I get for writing reviews while at work.
10:11 AM on 02/01/08
User Info.
llmp's Avatar
I'm just surprised they don't play country music.
10:26 AM on 02/01/08
ambulance chaser
User Info.
ind1ekid's Avatar
Very accurate review there, i like it. Especially the comparisions to Anberlin and Saosin (Saoberlin?). I couldnt help think of anberlin listening to this band. Hope they can get over to the uk at some point.
10:27 AM on 02/01/08
Registered User
User Info.
iRockSocks0ff's Avatar
definitely a solid record for their second release.
10:43 AM on 02/01/08
What are you supposed to put here?
User Info.
eversoinviting's Avatar
Solid release.

I agree with what you said about them being a hybrid of Anberlin and Saosin, notably on "Be Still and Breathe."
11:19 AM on 02/01/08
Registered User
User Info.
No Avatar Selected
definitely a solid record for their second release.

debut record, brotha.
11:24 AM on 02/01/08
User Info.
MyWorldEntire's Avatar
I'm waiting til' my copy comes in the mail to hear this, but that was a great review Drew. Definitely one of your best.
11:29 AM on 02/01/08
Knows the words to 'Bye Bye Bye'
User Info.
S9Dallasoz's Avatar
I'm just surprised they don't play country music.

well, with a member named Dusty Kittle, I'd be a little surprised too.

Love this album though.
11:29 AM on 02/01/08
Registered User
User Info.
nerdvglc's Avatar
I'm just surprised they don't play country music.
i came close to didscreaming at you for the texas joke, but you're from here, so you know... we have 3 rocks bands at any given time that don't suck. maximum.

just kidding though, dallas has a pretty cool scene.
11:31 AM on 02/01/08
Registered User
User Info.
nerdvglc's Avatar
debut record, brotha.

actually, they had an ep that was really good that they toured on for a while; this is a label debut, but not their first release at all.

Search News
Release Dates
Best New Music
Submit News
Mobile Version
AP.net Logos
Encore Podcast
Free Music
Sports Forum
Technology Forum
Contact Us
Copyright Policy
Terms of Service
Privacy Policy
Twitter | Facebook | RSS
Encore Podcast on iTunes
Encore on Overcast
AP.net on Tumblr
Chorus.fm | @jason_tate