I can wholeheartedly recommend the second album by ION VEIN to anybody, who still mourns the past QUEENSRYCHE heydays. But also friends of BALANCE OF POWER, PAGAN’S MIND or KAMELOT should have a great time with the high standing compositions of these specialists. ION VAIN manage to pull one sleeve after the other out of their sleeve over the complete playing time of almost 65 minutes.
The intro "Awakening“ builds up the right tension, before with "Another Life“ a role-model hammer follows suit. Everything fits here, great vocals, slightly progressive structure, great chorus. I am floored… On with “Spiral Maze”, a US-Metal song of the higher order with really outstanding bass lines. Here singer Russ Klimczak once more shows that he is the legitimate Geoff Tate successor! “The Power Of You” is another gripping song that starts out balladesque and then gets a bit heavier. A royal melody accompanies it all, while the song overall is a bit straighter than the previous songs. “Faith And Majesty” is a good bit heavier then, has a catchy chorus and a fat groove without sounding modern.
ION VEIN combine their old school direction with a very fat and modern production that none other than Neil Kernon was responsible for (thought he only did Death Metal nowadays…). It continues with “Edge Of Forever”, which continues in style before we get “Twilight Garden”, a calm acoustic track, with minimal instrumentation and surprising saxophone sounds. What some purists might look at with derision I think is a welcome breath of different air… The title track with its more than eight minutes is a layered Prog supersmasher, which grips and enthuses. ION VEIN really get uncanny by now, because the songs get better and better. Incredible! With all technical intricacies and abilities the songs always stay accessible and are just wow.
The absolute zenith is reached with the three-part epos „Adrian’s Ladder“. Here you can talk about a coming Prog classic, which can take on century songs such as "Roads To Madness“ (QUEENSRYCHE), "2112“ (RUSH), "Epitaph“ (FATES WARNING) or "Metropolis Part 2“ (DREAM THEATER). You’re at a loss for words how easily ION VEIN pull this off… These noble solos, breaks and drumming do not seem to be from this planet… At the end of this killer album we still get “The Future Is Now”. This 9-minute song is, well what else, absolutely great, with an incredible break in the middle… Did anybody expect anything else?
"Reigning Memories“ is an absolute must for Metal fans, who for one like it melodic, but at the same time also like progressive, yet accessible songs, which put an emphasis on technical abilities, an incredible singer and a grandiose production. It is a shame that the band has to sell this gemstone on their own label… You can get this album at Hellion Records (www.hellionrecords.de) or the band site (http://www.ionvein.com/). I drop on my knees and my biggest respect goes to Illinois! (Online February 11, 2004)