If you want to talk about criminally underrated bands, I’ll necessarily bring the German Ivanhoe to the table. Since 1986 they have been serving progressive metal in their own way but for some reason they never got the publicity they deserved. Maybe the fact that in the 90’s progressive was at its peak and the scene was flooded with bands that wanted to become the new Dream Theater, or the repeated changes of members are two of the factors that didn’t take the band higher.

But that has never stopped them from giving us quality works like here with their ninth studio album. “Healed By The Sun” comes four years after the equally excellent “Blood And Gold”. On this one Ivanhoe offer us pure orthodox progressive metal with enough balance between the hard and melodic parts. The band has stopped for many years now the musical acrobatics. This may have made the compositions more austere, compared to their past, but at the same time it has given the necessary breathing space for their development.

For “Healed By The Sun” the band studied a lot about their past. This created an album with a lot of variety. Anyone who is familiar with their music will find himself smiling several times as there are not a few moments when the band winked mischievously. Of course we also have the, hear me now, re-recording of “Awaiting Judgement Day” from the demo of the band back in 1989! Putting together a puzzle that respects the past but sees the future, “Healed” is a fresh album that more evokes a young and hungry band than veterans sticking on badges!

At this point I should also mention how beautifully Alexander Koch’s voice blends with the sound of the band. The singer who has taken the reins behind the mic has given the band extra personality since 2013. Not to forget that they have pretty much changed a basketball team of singers as well.

The counter says 2024 and against the form that wants progressive to be more manic depressive and gothic Ivanhoe come to tell us that the sun can heal us. An enjoyable release on CD and vinyl. You know what I will prefer.