Illusions of Grandeur – The Songs of the Siren

Today we offer up for your attention one of the most striking and impressive debuts you are likely to hear this year. It comes from theatrical hard rock/fantasy metal band Illusions of Grandeur and goes by the name of The Songs of the Siren. Quite simply it is one of the most fascinating and rousing releases we have come across with all the reasons on display as to why the band has such a devoted following.

Hailing from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Illusions of Grandeur have drawn rich praise, support and attention with their live shows, each soaked in energy and drama now vocal within their first album. The Songs of the Siren is the first release in the grand tale of The Siren Saga. The album takes the listener on epic adventures with the Siren and her warriors, their perils and triumphs revealed through fact and fiction “combining Greek and Norse Mythology, Sirens, Warriors, Archangels, and Kharon “The Ferryman.” It is a rich adventure immersed in just as fascinating and rousing sounds bred on a tapestry of flavours which proves hard to define but easy to devour.

Illusions of Grandeur and The Songs of the Siren are ‘led’ by the presence of The Siren with one of the most compelling voices to grace these ears in recent times. Alongside her warriors of sound consist of bassist Archangel Michael, drummer Mercury, and guitarists Taranis and Thano, a quintet which together cast a tempest of sound as varied, imaginative, and contagious as it is formidable and insatiable. As waves break upon the album’s creative shore and a lone melody casts its melancholic sigh intrigue made a swift companion, opener Fallen/Awakening instantly a potent lure but only just beginning to cast its spell. Quickly an even more enticing thread of guitar is coaxing ears, an invitation soon inescapable as The Siren shares her irresistible tones. To say we were hooked within the tracks opening minute is an understatement and only further enthralled and enslaved as the song proved one of the most devilishly captivating musical moments. Its controlled and virulent bait only intensifies as sonic flames erupt and the track’s springs its full rapacious trespass, the track setting the striking character and thrill of the album.

Mayhem follows, guitars weaving their melodic prowess as rhythms firmly land. Metal and heavy rock hues collude in its rapacious stroll, The Siren’s vocals a web of narration and agility matched by the exploits of the band alongside. There is a Nightwish meets Otep like breathe to the track but as proved by every track, like next up Three Two Three, Illusions of Grandeur have conjured true individuality in their sound. The album’s third track rises on a resonating drone, its thick draw devoured but still throbbing within the song’s erupting drama and intensity. Soon after writhing grooves slowly entangle the predacious heart at its core as vocals again lure moth like ears to their bright flame, the track seducing with its every invasive breath.

Proving just as irresistible, Red Sky Morning enters with a swagger in its rhythmic tread and temptation in its vocal enticement. A subtle but instinctive snarl coats every essence exuding from its esurient body as again a kaleidoscope of flavours combine in its dark rapture while The Archangel provides a tenebrous capture of ears and imagination with its instrumental intimation before Silent Suicide reveals its tempestuous drama with voracious enterprise and breath. Its call is inescapable and fearsome, inevitability in its temptation and persuasion as again Illusions of Grandeur simply commanded attention with craft and imagination.

As Breathe bestows its Stygian shadows and creative crawl and Lullabies sprung its fusion of melodic radiance and raw ferocity, the album only placed a tighter grip on already greedy ears with the band’s invention and individual craft taking care of the imagination. Their successor, The Voyage, only accentuated that triumph as it hauntingly floats the listener down its caliginous waters with Through The Styx waiting to welcome and prey on the senses with its Tartarean embrace. The song highlights all the qualities and temptations within the creative emprise of Illusions of Grandeur and the rich web of flavours at its behest.

With a handful of radio edits of some of its finest moments as a bonus, The Songs of the Siren just lit our fires and for the second time in week we can only declare an album one of the year’s essential encounters.

The Songs of the Siren is out now via Pavement Entertainment.

https://www.iogmusic.com   https://www.facebook.com/IllusionsOG/    https://twitter.com/IllusionsOG

Pete RingMaster 06/09/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Wizard Rifle – Self Titled

Like a sonic devil they tempt your pigeonholing and defining of their sound and with the same Mephistophelian glee side step every attempt with their infernal webs of sound. They are Oregon rockers Wizard Rifle and their latest album epitomises their devilish conjuring of creative deception. Their self-titled offering also provides one of the most rousing and thrilling encounters of the year. Their sound is punk, sludge rock, psych and thrash punk, noise rock, metal and much more besides in one cacophonous temptation; quite simply it is feral rock ‘n’ roll and across forty four minutes pure contagion.

Emerging in Portland in 2009, Wizard Rifle are no newcomers to high praise as their electric live presence, which has seen them share stages with the likes of The Melvins, High On Fire, YOB, Lightning Bolt, Bongzilla, Buzzov*en, Black Cobra, and Church of Misery, over time has been accompanied by two well-received full-lengths in Speak Loud Say of 2012 and Here in the Deadlight two years later. Now the duo of guitarist/vocalist Max Dameron and drummer/vocalist Sam Ford are ready to take on the world with a release which embraces the building blocks of its predecessors and shapes a proposition which defies convention, relishes devouring expectations, and sets out its own unique agenda in virulent noise.

Rocket to Hell ignites the babel of sound devouring the senses from with the album though there is no confusion in its creation and enterprise. The opener teases from its first breath with the plucking of guitar strings, the gentle lure the persuasive deceit before the ferocious babble of sound momentarily waiting to erupt. And break out it does with ravenous intent; the pair’s united vocals as harmonious as they are untamed as around them sonic squalls casts melodic and sonic temptation as raw as it is virulent. The track continues to infectiously nag as it rapaciously ravages, that tempest of flavours previously mentioned blended into a predacious trespass strapped with the keenest of hooks and salacious grooves.

As discord and melody craftily entangle it is a glorious incitement and matched by that within the following Cevaman Waltz. Rhythms prowl as a chugging guitar goes eye to eye with instincts, a devious grin lining rapid grooves and an epidemic of infection while equally compelling vocals ride its hungry currents. Again it is a mix which nags and harries but with less voracity than its predecessor though that is replaced by a pressure of urgency which only accelerates by the minute until erupting in a cyclone of wild and fertile commotion with those original grooves still steering the greed for the band’s invention.

A Celtic spicing infects the compelling landscape of next up Beneath the Spider, its emprise a tapestry of rabid intent and collected melodic dexterity spun with craft and imagination. There is a great manipulation to the Wizard Rifle sound, its hooks and grooves an infestation of the body as melodic irreverence grip the imagination and no more inescapable and powerful than within the eight minutes making up this slice of potent incitement.

The next twelve minutes plus comes in the shape of Funeral of the Sun, the closing cyclonic tempest of the previous track reaped of its incessant sonic persecution by the opening bait of its successor. Dangling acidic guitar lures it entices and then devours in swirls and expulsions of creative ruthlessness and barbarity but an assault which is pure untamed catchiness. Similarly vocals harmoniously invite and venomously bite before the progressive heart of the track emerges to just as potently seduce. The tide of noise cannot be abated for long and it returns but with a much more melodic breath. Pure fascination exudes the track, which never suffers in its length, as pleasure floods ears before it.

V concludes the release, psychedelic seducing radiating from within its intrepid venture of sound and ambition. Seductive and fierce, subtle and bold, the track provides an unpredictable multi-textured furnace of flavour and captivation.

Wizard Rifle’s album is a glorious contradiction; it is animatingly wild yet cleverly composed, boldly untethered but chained to distinct imagination and craft. It is also another of the year’s major pleasures which should see the band burst beyond previous boundaries of attention.

The Wizard Rifle album is out now via Svart Records; available @ https://wizardrifle.bandcamp.com

https://www.facebook.com/wizardrifle/

Pete RingMaster 06/09/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright