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.
Pete RingMaster 06/09/2019
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