Q&A with ILLUSIONS OF GRANDEUR

Q&A with ILLUSIONS OF GRANDEUR

Hello Everyone – Maggy recently got the chance to do a Q&A with ‘The Siren’, vocalist of Lancaster, PA Theatrical Hard Rock/Fantasy Metal band, Illusions Of Grandeur. Big thanks to all of them!

What is your name, what do you do, and can you tell us a little bit about how you ended up doing it?

This is Maggie, The Siren. I am the vocalist, lyric and melody writer for Illusions of Grandeur. I’ve been in music my entire life. My dad is a musician and when I was a kid, he would take my brother and I to band practice. I started singing, on stage, when I was 4. I was always in chorus, theatre, and musicals. At 15, I was in my first band and I haven’t stopped since.

What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?

Our band is from Pennsylvania, United States. Metal is alive and well here. Many of our friends are in metal bands. As far as the type of metal we play, I think we do best overseas. They seem to embrace the fantasy metal, costumes, and war paint. Not that they don’t here in the US, the crowds are just way more receptive.

What is your favourite latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)

Korn – “The Nothing”

Who have been your greatest influences, in music or in life?

Korn, In This Moment, Judas Priest, Pantera, Queen, Janis Joplin.

What first got you into music?

Music is like water to me. I need it and couldn’t live without it. My dad is the reason I’m in music. I have so many memories of my dad and music, from going to band practice with him, to trips in the car with the windows down singing at the top of our lungs, to those warm summer days with the windows opened and the music just carrying through the whole house. And, of course, the occasional concert. I’ll never forget sitting next to DJ Kool with my dad, mom, and brothers at a George Clinton and the P-Funk band concert. Music is a part of me. I love it as if it were a person.

Which current bands or musicians would you like to see collaborate on a record?

Korn and In This Moment.

If you could go to any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

Wacken. It’s the biggest metal festival in the world…at least to my knowledge. Closely followed by Rock n’ Rio. I have friends in Rio who have asked us to play there. Not to mention what a beautiful and amazing festival.

What’s the weirdest music related thing you own?

Weirdest…hmmm…that’s a tough one. We have some old mics that we use to record drums sometimes. Forgive me, I’m not sure what kind they are. We also have a twelve-string bass that has made many appearances live with IOG.

If you had one message for your Ever Metal readers, what would it be?

Take nothing for granted! Life’s too short to not be doing what you love. Be kind to your fellow human, and live your life to the fullest. You never know when it will all be over. Live long and rock 🤘🏻

If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

Oh goodness, this is always a very difficult question, and now especially since EVH is gone as well.

Dime, Freddie Mercury, Janis Joplin…I can never pick just one.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

No More Paying to Play. Anywhere. As if musicians don’t have a difficult enough time thriving, then they have to pay-to-play??? Are you kidding me??? I don’t think people realize everything that musicians are up against and all the money that goes into having a professional band…then you get offered a show and all you have to do is pay $1000 for a headliner spot…wait a minute. Shouldn’t that be based on talent and the bands ability to bring a crowd? I could go on forever about this, but that’s enough. You get my point lol.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Pantera – Vulgar Display Of Power

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

I like them all for different reasons. I still think nothing sounds as good as vinyl, but of course that’s just my opinion. Cassettes are nostalgic for me. When I was a kid cassettes were the big thing, so there is some sentimental value there. CD’s are great merch and a great way for bands to physically put their music in someone’s hands. And downloads are just super convenient for the listener. Unfortunately, the band often gets pushed over on downloads. Either they are free or super inexpensive and the band makes very, very little off of their music.

What’s the best gig that you have been to, and why?

We played a festival in Smila, Ukraine and so far, it was the best. They were the most hospitable and welcoming people. From the moment we arrived, they were nothing short of amazing. We were unaware, but they had built the entire festival around us. They also took us to the centre of their town where they had us plant an “IOG tree”. I’ve gotten word that our tree is healthy and growing well. I think we took pictures after the show for almost two hours. While we were playing, I had women trying to hand me their kids, people screaming for us, and the best part…singing the lyrics even though they couldn’t understand all of them!!! I’ll never forget our time in Smila.

What do you get up to when you’re not writing/ taking photos?

I’m an exercise junkie. I work out 6 days a week, for about 3 hours a day.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Jonathan Davis, Maria Brink, Dimebag Darrell, Tatiana Shmayluk, and Lauren Tate

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Good question. Never had one.

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Look for our second single, ‘Down’, coming to you December 16th, 2020! Music video to follow. Thanks so much for reading! Rock on! Find us here:

www.iogmusic.com/
www.instagram.com/iogmusic/
www.twitter.com/iogband
www.facebook.com/IllusionsOG/
www.music.apple.com/us/artist/illusions-of-grandeur/347575177
www.open.spotify.com/artist/5iIKuYKBnObOoKBIV78p0H
www.youtube.com/c/IllusionsofGrandeurTV

‘Crossing Over’ (Official Video)

LINE-UP:
The Siren – Vocals
CM – Bass
Taranis – Guitars
Thano – Guitars
Ares – Drums

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Maggy S Nell and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Article – Illusions Of Grandeur: The Siren Saga

Illusions Of Grandeur: The Siren Saga
By Maggy Von

Illusions Of Grandeur is a Theatrical Hard Rock/Fantasy Metal band based in Lancaster, PA.

The band is now part of Killsound productions as their booking agency.

I.O.G. took the PA and NJ scenes by storm, starting in 2015, and debuting “The Siren Saga” live show.

The Siren Saga is a story of the journeys, perils, and triumphs of the Siren and her warriors. The story mixes facts and fiction combining Greek and Norse Mythology, Sirens, Viking Warriors, Archangels and Kharon “The Ferryman”. The first part, “The Songs of the Siren”, was released on Pavement Records in 2019.

Since their formation, Illusions of Grandeur have toured in the United States as well as across the UK and Europe, and made appearances at various festivals including Sav Fest, Dewey Beach Music Festival and Witney Music Festival. I.O.G. has shared the stage with artists as varied as DOPE, Motograter, September Mourning, New Year’s Day, Puddle of Mudd and Otep. Illusions of Grandeur’s fierce and energetic live show has gained them a legion of fans dubbed “The Siren Nation” who follow them worldwide, at live shows, and on social media.

New video ‘Crossing Over’

The Story of The Siren:

The Siren was a winged creature with the body of a woman, feet and arms of a bird. She perched high on the flowery hilltops where she watched over and protected the Goddess Persephone, daughter of Zeus and Demeter. From the tops of Mount Olympus, the Siren soared as a God. One warm, sweet spring solstice, Persephone innocently wandered off through a field of flowers. Intrigued by one in particular, a magical glowing flower, she reached out with both hands. The ground beneath her began to quake and opened into a large hollow. Confused from the fall, Persephone did not see Hades, God of the Underworld, until he was already upon her. Her screams echoed out of reach as Hades pulled her back to the Underworld where he intended to marry her.

The Siren failed in her sworn duty to protect Persephone. She was stripped of her wings by Goddess Demeter and banished from Mount Olympus to a tiny island off the coast of Sicily. She would remain on earth until she found Persephone and returned her home safely. This is now the Sirens journey. She must venture the Underworld and take Persephone from Hades. Frightened and unsure of her powers, she was lured to the seas, like a longing, calling to her soul. Once she reached the rocky cliffs, the mists from crashing waves, shown the shine of her new flesh, the scales and fins of a mermaid, a water Siren. Bound by this new skin, she must determine her new-found abilities and set forth to the task ahead. The Siren would learn that when she sang, she was irresistible to mortal men. She pillaged for their lives and used them to build an army, facing peril and surprises along the way. The challenge was unlike any she had faced before. Alone and haunted by her past, if she was to have any chance of success, it would mean pushing herself towards her own self-destruction.

MEMBERS:
The Siren – Maggie Carlton – Vocals
Archangel Michael – CM Carroll – Bass
Julian Yeager – Guitar
Ares – Ted Domzalski – Drums

LINKS:

Midgard – Tales Of Kreia

Midgard – Tales Of Kreia
Sliptrick Records
Release Date: 18/08/2020
Running Time: 48:36
Review By Beth Jones
7.5/10

Folk Metal! Some people love it, some might think ‘What the folk was that all about’! Personally, I love it, so am always happy to review a Folk Metal album. And next on my playlist is “Tales Of Kreia” the new release by Ukrainian Folk Metal four-piece, Midgard. Formed in 2015, this is their 3rd studio album, and they have already made a pretty decent name for themselves in the folk metal world, supporting Finnish Folk Metal giants Ensiferum at their Kiev show. This new album is written entirely in a fantasy setting and explores various themes and moods within that world.

The album opens with ‘Necromancer’, which begins in a pretty standard folk metal way, giving you a comfortably familiar feeling. This only lasts for about 20 seconds, though, then the piece is taken over by thrash-esque riffs and rhythms. Unexpected, but pretty damn good, I can tell you. It then moves through a variety of transitions of genre, exploring melody and rhythm changes aplenty! It’s very skilfully done, and a great way to open the album.

Track 2, ‘The Horde’ is introduced by traditional instrumentation, then launches into some damn fine chunky riffs, and again plays a merry dance with variations around themes and genres.

In fact, this is true throughout the album. It’s littered with skilful riffage and rhythms, and explorations in combining traditional folk instruments with the heaviness of the more metal orchestrations. It’s great to bang your head to, but doesn’t become just another jaunty Folk Metal album, as some tend to do.

Another thing to mention is the vocal style of Klym Apalov. In the main, it’s a growl. But it’s a very tuneful growl, which impressed me. We also get the odd clean vocal, too, mainly in the folky sections, which adds a bit of variety.

The track that’s most recognisably Folk Metal is ‘Dworf King’. And for all those…er… young in mind, shall we say, it starts with an interesting sound effect that is bound to have a few of you tittering behind your hand, like naughty schoolboys! This track is very much a ‘grab a flagon of ale and do an over exaggerated stompy walk round in circles dance’ tune. Nothing wrong with that, like, but I’d go for Mead!

The final track ‘Ice Spirit’ begins with spoken word set over music, in the band’s mother tongue. This gives it a kind of ‘final battle pep talk’ feel, and creates an interesting mood. Again, this track explores various rhythmic and melodic themes, closing the album in the same way it began.

I think my favourite track on the album has to be, ‘Velmehazerun Dolian’. It’s hellishly pacey from the start and really sets your toes a-tapping! It’s quite spiky too, if you know what I mean? There’s a ton of gain on the rhythm guitars, and everything is very staccato, which gives it a real edginess. There’s also a stunning lead guitar solo in the middle of it, just before it drops off into a traditional folk interlude, because, well, why not!

Production wise, it’s all pretty tight too. A nice balance of sounds, and you can hear all the little folk twists coming through.

All in all, while it’s not completely ground-breaking, this is a very decent release from Midgard, which does step away from comfort zones a little, and is definitely worth a listen. It’s got a real groove, and there’s something in there for every musical taste, too (especially Thrash). So, even if you’re not usually into Folk Metal, I’d still give it a try.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Necromancer
02. The Horde
03. Velmehazerun Dolian
04. The Ring
05. Dworf King
06. Keeper Of Freedom
07. Reaper
08. Elven Blade
09. The Hunt
10. Black Widow
11. Ice Spirit

LINE-UP:
Klym Apalkov – Vocals
Roman Kuznietsov – Guitars
Alexandr Kudryavtsev – Drums
Maxim Shatilo – Bass

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Beth Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Krull – The Black Coast

Krull The Black Coast Cover

Krull – The Black Coast
Iron Shield Records
Release date: 27/04/2018
Running Time: 42.32
Review by: Alun Jones
6/10

KRULL! Did you ever see the movie? It’s GREAT! On the ancient world of Krull, Prince Colwyn brings together a band of scoundrels to help him rescue Princess Lyssa from the clutches of the evil Beast, who threatens to conquer the planet. It’s a sci-fi fantasy adventure with a Cyclops, cool weapons, vile baddies, Tucker Jenkins and Lysette Anthony. I mean seriously, you need to see this film. How metal does it sound? Even the bad guys are called “Slayers”!

The band Krull occupy a musical space which is openly very inspired by fantasy, battles and all things sword and sorcery. And right from the off, it’s a whole lot of fun. The atmospheric intro “In the Woods” grabs the listener and plunges them into the ethereal world that Krull have concocted, and it’s pretty much full on from there.

Pace-wise, “The Black Coast” is like riding shotgun in a barbarian’s chariot, charging an army of Orcs. Stand out tracks for me included “By Steel” and “The King and the Sword”, but the whole album is energetic traditional metal. If you’re a fan of Priest, Maiden and the mighty Manowar you’ll find something to enjoy here. Only midway track “Valhalla” slows things down a little, otherwise it’s a fast and brutal campaign.

So why only 6 out of 10? Well there are lots of plus points with this album. The vocals are suitably bonkers, ranging from powerful cries, deep growls to a high pitched, witchy cacophony. The musicianship is great, and the rhythm section successfully keep the march relentless. The songs are fast and filled with          fantastic tales of battles and bravery.

But the guitar tone was just off for me. I like something with more crunch; more skull smashing intensity. After the cool intro, first track “The Witch”, whilst a great song, suffers from a languid guitar sound that slices the records               hamstrings before the fight is really on.

Don’t misunderstand me, the playing is great – it’s the production that’s slightly lacking. The guitars should be much more axe in the face, blood and brains       everywhere.

There’s still a lot to recommend Krull’s “The Black Coast” though. Especially if you dig your metal as a soundtrack to a rampaging berserker, attacking a horde of evil ghouls.

Oh, and get down to your local Blockbuster and rent the Krull video. You won’t regret it. It makes Lord of the Rings look like a bad Dungeons and Dragons game in a crack den…!

TRACK LISTING
1. In the Woods – Intro
2. The Witch
3. By Steel
4. Marching to Mountains
5. Valhalla
6. The King and the Sword
7. Immortals
8. Stand fight to Kill
9. The Black Coast

SOCIAL MEDIA
https://www.facebook.com/krullheavymetal/
https://krullofficial.bandcamp.com/
https://www.instagram.com/krull.official/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdgPwJVIKdkOcphCcdQSBBA

Krull Promo Pic1

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Alun Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Homerik – Homerik

Homerik Cover

Homerik – Homerik
Running time: 46:33
Homerik Productions
Release Date: Halloween 2017
Reviewed by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
6.5/10

I always knew when Rick at Ever Metal asked me to do him a favour and review a band for him that it was not going to be a run of the mill band. I knew there was going to be diversity and that there was a very good chance that I wouldn’t like the album. I think Rick assumed that too, and how I love proving him wrong.

Homerik are an American band formed in New York City but after listening to the album, you could assume that they had, in fact, come from anywhere in the world, and this is where the diversity comes in.

A trio comprising of composer and lyricist, Kenneth Candelas and two further lyricists, Andrew Petriske and Obed Gonzalez, they are a melting pot of different cultures and musicianships.  Unsatisfied with mainstream metal and the amount of “regurgitated” stuff around at the moment, they wanted people to look into the possibilities of metal and how such a brutal genre could be made into something beautiful and unique.

Andrew and Ken both derive their inspiration from the many genres of metal the band are influenced by, but, as a whole, they are not shy of exploring other genres of music.

Swayed by their interests which include (to name a few) Ancient Egypt, Dark Fantasy, Lord of the Rings, Norse Mythology and Game of Thrones, they have orchestrated a force of guitars, drums, bassoon (how often do you hear of one of those in metal music!?) piano, brass and strings, that would be worthy of the inclusion into any film score. All this is complemented by the mystifying and alto vocal work of Carla Candelas and Nilsa Astacio, who, combined together, make a chillingly beautiful narrative of a little girl who suffers reoccurring nightmares of abuse and neglect.

Classed by themselves on their Facebook page as Symphonic, Progressive Death Metal, I would also like to add “atmospheric.” With influences such as (deep breath here) Nightwish, Wintersun, Nile, Deicide, Behemoth, Symphony X, Children of Bodom, King Diamond, Opeth, Epica and Kamelot (and that wasn’t all of them!) it is easy to see elements of every one of these bands showing throughout the music and the band can easily switch from one sound to the next, showing great diversity and, above all, talent!

Says Obed Gonzalez: “what you are about to listen to is a project made by people, for people, and for it to unify the world and their peoples.” If any band could manage to unify the world with their music, then this band could. With classic death metal vocals to accompany the symphonic aspects of the band, there are also the sounds of Asia and the Middle East all thrown in for good measure.

This album is not going to appeal to everyone, but even then, it has an approachability to all music listeners whether they are devout music fans or not!

If you like your metal straight forward and in your face then don’t buy this album, but if you like something a bit different, a bit atmospheric and a bit eccentric even, then this is the album for you.

I liked it, proving Rick and, probably myself, wrong…..you might just do!

 

TRACK LISTING

  • 1. Into the Pits of Oblivion 01:53
  •  2. Unforgotten Kin 03:14
  •  3. An Angel of Darkness 04:49
  •  4. Curse of the Black Nile 05:45
  •  5. The “Ire” of Green 03:58
  •  6. Wendigo 05:00
  •  7. The Balance of Power 05:39
  •  8. Bread and Circuses 03:22
  •  9. A Song of the Night: Part I 07:15
  •  10. The Legion 05:35

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

 

Promo Pic1 (16)

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities