Aussie gui­tarist James Norbert Ivanyi has tri­umphed over tragedy to bring his blend of prog to the world.

Prog - - Intro - De­nalavis is out now. Lis­ten to Ivanyi’s record­ings at http://bit.ly/JamesNor­bert.

“I’m try­ing to not make a ‘gui­tar record.’”

It turns out that James Norbert Ivanyi lives two min­utes down the road from an­other ris­ing Aus­tralian in­stru­men­tal­ist. “Plini and I went to see The Aris­to­crats here a few weeks ago,” says the 29 year-old from his Syd­ney home. “We’re not su­per close, but I ac­tu­ally played at his very first gig, so there’s his­tory there.”

Over the past few years and four EPs, Ivanyi has been gain­ing his own in­ter­na­tional rep­u­ta­tion as an ax­e­man to watch, but he’s wary of the gui­tar god la­bel. “I’m try­ing to not make a ‘gui­tar record’. I care about songs, sounds and mu­sic first. I’ve got more pro­gres­sive over time, but I do like slam­ming drums, that’s what keeps the metal fans happy.”

His lat­est three-track EP, De­nalavis is a co­he­sive blend of clas­sic rock and tech metal. Opener Pray Darkly comes in on a Jon Lord-like over­driven Ham­mond, be­fore those slam­ming drums and riffs kick in. He’s eclec­tic too: he reck­ons James Brown’s funk vibe in­formed the record, an eti­o­lated take on Satie’s Gnossi­enne No 3 opens Malig­nant In­hab­i­tants, and Petrucci’s shadow is cast over Ter­raform Diminu­tion.

Ivanyi dis­cov­ered

Pan­tera and Opeth in his late teens, but re­ally cut his teeth on his dad’s records – Led Zep­pelin, Pink Floyd, Rush, Ge­n­e­sis and Yes. Trag­i­cally, his dad was mur­dered at his home in In­done­sia when Ivanyi was 18. Trau­ma­tised, he dropped out of school and im­mersed him­self com­pletely in mu­sic. It was his mother who got him en­rolled in the Aus­tralian In­sti­tute Of Mu­sic, where he could get both a de­gree in mu­sic and his High School Cer­tifi­cate. “She saved me,” he says now. “I came to re­alise that peo­ple go through ter­ri­ble things ev­ery day, and death is part of life. Dad was an artist, and within his own niche scene, he was very well re­spected.”

So there’s a par­al­lel be­tween fa­ther and son. Ivanyi has opened for the likes of Kata­to­nia and Soil­work in Syd­ney, he played this year’s in­au­gu­ral Gui­tar Col­lec­tive con­cert in Ana­heim and at UK Tech-Fest in July (his first visit to Europe), and he’ll tour Aus­tralia again in Au­gust. “Aus­tralia’s the size of

North Amer­ica, but with five ma­jor cities,” he says. “It’s a big in­vest­ment to fly a band around, but there’s a love for mu­sic here – it’s well worth it.” GRM


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