Ivanhoe - Biography


During the festival at the cathedral of Gandersheim in 2001, sound designer Achim Welsch and Mischa Mang, who performed there as „Judas" in the musical „Jesus Christ Superstar", felt bored while they had a break. They knew each other just from the rehearsals, but Achim was impressed by Mischa's guttural voice full of divine pain and demonic power. When the melody of a well known Dream Theater epos was played an the piano and Achim heard the voice of "Judas" sing along, he realized that a new era had begun. That was the end of a long search, which had begun in 1998 when singer Andy B. Franck had left the band. The remaining band members Giovanni Soulas and Achim Welsch soon realized that his position would be hard to fill, because his style left its mark on three ambitious albums, and with Ivanhoe he definitely became the ultimate tip of the German prog-metal scene.

Founded as a "garage band" in 1986 by a.o. Soulas and Welsch, their debut album "Visions And Reality" (1992) was considered the German answer to Dream Theater by many journalists - although it was immature concerning the production. On the following album "Symbols Of Time" (1994) their own style was much more distinct, the band was touring a lot, what also showed results in the press and in the sales. During the "Symbols Of Time" European tour, guitar player Chuck Schuler left the band for personal reasons, which facilitated the comeback of former singer and guitar player Achim Welsch, who accompanied the band as sound mixer for their live concerts. After a few Shows in Germany, Italy and Switzerland and a phenomenal European tour with Iced Earth and Nevermore, the band started to work on their third album called "Polarized"; a programmatic album title, as the poles of the band started to move: Andy, whose roots were more into Megadeth and trash metal, wanted to get even harder, although "Polarized" was much heavier than the albums before.

Consequently they parted ways: Giovanni and Achim continued making music with their project "Charisma" (feat. jazz-singer Annette Kienzle), but this cooperation did not last long. As the chapter Ivanhoe still was not closed for the two masterminds and there was still a lot to achieve with the band, they thought about a reanimation.

With Mischa Mang they found the right man to comply with the musical requirements to create an absolutely independent, kaleidoscopic faceted and yet accessible opus. New worlds opened up with keyboarder Richard Seibel, who had already played in Charisma, and the new drummer Sebastian Brauchle.

They have been working on the new album for three years, and it is very obvious to the listener that it had the chance to mature long enough like a good whiskey. The new Ivanhoe epos "Walk In Mindfields" is a clear evidence that a band creates the best music when they are patient enough to wait for really good ideas instead of working with the first upcoming thoughts.