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Movement and Change: Ivadell’s “Flow”

Broken Circles Records

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Sometimes musicians find themselves in a position that requires movement and change.

And sometimes they meet this requirement with a willingness and excitement that allow them to find a new sound that’s as equally compelling as their old sound.

Examples abound.

When Ian Curtis passed away, the remaining members of Joy Division became New Order and invented dance-rock in the process. When Paul Di’Anno left Iron Maiden, Bruce Dickinson took his place as lead singer, brought his operatic range, and partially inspired the band’s harmonized guitars and lyrics inspired by history and literature.

Now Ivadell finds themselves in the same position as Joy Division/New Order and Iron Maiden. Their core members – singer Josh Gilley and guitarists Jon Warf and Roger Caughman – played in Darkentries, whose record The Make Believe was a sonic assault of progressive noise metal and goth vocals. It’s also one of the crucial releases of this year.

But here’s the thing. The multitalented Gilley played drums in Darkentries, and, as Ivadell’s EP Flow and album opener “For Love of Will” attest, he’s equally talented as a singer. His confident vocals are up front in the mix – and he sings beautiful melodic lines that convey the emotion behind the despondent lyrics.


Warf and Caughman support him with equally melodic lines that occasionally transform into bursts of noise and chugging riffs. They think as composers for guitar, so that their songs, “For Love of Will” included, are sonic journeys and mini-symphonies. I’m reminded of Radiohead, Television, and Sonic Youth.

Track two, “Breaking Light,” finds ominous guitar lines and heavy bass creating a sense of darkness. Gilley’s vocals soar over the top, and he sings a melody that’s simultaneously brooding and catchy. And when Warf and Caughman explode into noise in the chorus, Gilley hits some truly remarkable high notes (think: Cedric Bixler-Zavala of The Mars Volta and ANTEMASQUE).


The key to “Breaking Light,” however, is its spaciousness – that is, the way in which the band members give each other enough room to musically roam. The result is a tune that functions almost as a landscape – or, better, a journey through a landscape in which the arrival point is intense guitar noise.

“Flickering” closes off the set with a riff that combines hard rock and what sound like jazz chords. The guitar lead provides Flow with yet more melody, as does Gilley’s vocal melody. This tune, replete with harmonies and two bridges that feature guitar arpeggios and noise respectively, is a terrific, noisy, and innovative power pop number and, quite easily, the catchiest piece of music that Gilley, Warf, and Caughman have concocted.


Flow not only creates a lot of anticipation for the full-length on which Ivadell are currently at work, but it’s also an inventive EP in its own right, stocked with all the creativity and passion that we’ve come to expect from Gilley, Warf, and Caughman.

You can purchase Flow here.