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
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 in ‘Everlasting 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
01. Crossing Over
02. The Wolf
04. Upon My Life
06. A Silence
07. We Ryse
08. Take Me Alive
10. The Storm
11. Everlasting Fire
The Siren – Maggie Carlton – Vocals
Archangel Michael – CM Carroll – Bass
Executioner – Julian Yeager – Guitar
Ares – Ted Domzalski – Drum
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.