Illusions of Grandeur – The Siren

The Siren Album Cover Art

Illusions of Grandeur – The Siren
Revulsion of Spirit Records/Universal Music Group
Release Date: 30/10/2021
Running Time: 54:16
Review by Victor Augusto
9/10

Hello readers of my nonsense thoughts! How have you been? Today I want to call myself ‘Victor – The Errant’. Why are you ‘The Errant’, Victor? The answer is nothing related to literature, but just to have a character that represents myself. A person who is always erring in my review intros, maybe even in the entire content! But I also wanted to be like the members of this amazing band, who each have a specific character. Before I start my major erring (otherwise known as my review), let’s talk with each other a bit (Victor and his schizophrenic mode turning on). It wasn’t so long ago that I heard Illusions of Grandeur for the first time, with their debut album “The Siren Saga”. I immediately became a fan and I was lucky to receive this birthday gift right after I discovered the band.

So, let me take you on a journey, to try to pass everything I felt or understood from this saga, and my impressions of the history that I am describing. Maybe it is not exactly what the band wanted to express, but that’s the beauty of music, and all the more reason for you to listen to the album.

My first impression of the first album was that the Siren, the main character interpreted by the vocalist Maggie, suffered metamorphosis when punished and became the siren. It delivered a feeling of anger, and described the deaths, mainly of the sailors, as she looked to find peace from all that hate. In this album, the second part, it more new fights, that include wolves, witches, and new tricks from a new battle. From what I understood from the lyrics, the Siren is being constantly challenged by many obstacles and always keeping her mind strong enough to survive it.

Musically there is a smooth change as well. “The Siren Saga” has calmer moments, like laments, maybe caused by the physiological metamorphosis, which the siren was passing though. Here, the aggressiveness is more present, that brings a dynamic of the battles the Siren fights. The spirit of the band has transitioned in the same way. They’re something akin to traditional Heavy Metal but with a lot of groove. This album is clearly heavier, though. The already mentioned groove is even stronger, alongside faster passages, and more excitement by all, create a heaviness even stronger than it was originally.

Ares – Ted Domzalski on the drums, worked harder to put in faster double bass work and good variations alongside the tracks. Executioner – Julian Yeager on guitars, offers amazing riffs and solos. I like how his solos are short but good, with an excellent solo in Take Me Alive’, where he could explore more than the other tracks.

The partners in crime Archangel Michael – CM Carroll on bass, and The Siren – Maggie Carlton on vocals, completes Illusion of Grandeur. CM puts a lot of feeling and understanding into the context needed in terms of compositions. Maggie interprets the themes and how she acts in her character incredibly. Her way of performing brought to mind how Ronnie James Dio used to be. It is not only a matter of having a good and aggressive voice. It is all the passion she puts into interpreting it. From the pleading vocal in ‘The Wolf’, to lamenting vocal inEverlasting Fire’ her work is terrific.

As I’ve said, this is an aggressive album, as we can hear on opening song ‘Crossing Over’. But there are few moments of calm, mainly on the second half of the album, like in the closing song ‘Falling’. There is a strong groove around the spirit of a classic metal band and that lets the sound be powerful. My impression is that the band also thought about the theatrical side as well. Take a look at the videos for this album. You can see the entire band are in character on it, and this concept is a good one for visual content. Why not do an entire video covering all songs, like a movie? It would be awesome.

By the way, please stop everything you are doing now, including reading this, and go and listen to the song ‘Prophet’ (or watch the video). This is the band’s best song in my humble opinion. I guarantee you’ll be crazy about this insane song. If you love it, return here to finish reading. If you don’t enjoy it, return here anyway! =)

Ok, let me stop my wandering review before it turns to something as extended as the Old Testament from the Bible. I will just say that I recommend you listen to this album with considerable attention. “The Siren” is full of emotions and adventures. It is also full of mature compositions and is very well interpreted by all musicians. It is like you are really being hypnotized by the Siren, singing to connect you with the band. They are, for sure, one of the best bands I’ve discovered recently!

‘The Prophet’ – Official Music Video

TRACKLISTING:
01. Crossing Over
02. The Wolf
03. Prophet
04. Upon My Life
05. Down
06. A Silence
07. We Ryse
08. Take Me Alive
09. Demons
10. The Storm
11. Everlasting Fire
12. Falling

LINE-UP:
The Siren – Maggie Carlton – Vocals
Archangel Michael – CM Carroll – Bass
Executioner – Julian Yeager – Guitar
Ares – Ted Domzalski – Drum

LINKS:

Illustions Of Grandeur promo pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Victor Augusto 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.

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: