Departures by The Illumination (InVogue Records)
Emerging from the ashes of From Atlantis comes The Illumination, a vibrant new entity based out of the tiny state of Rhode Island – ready and willing to take on a great big world by storm. Their debut album Departures is certainly indicative of greater glories ahead, featuring potent lyrics and staggering melodies destined to garner the band a good deal of attention. From Atlantis showed a good deal of promise, and with The Illumination, it looks like InVogue has a definitive winner of their hands.
“With my back against the wall, I knew I’d find you here,” is the startling commencement on opening cut Voice For The Voiceless, grabbing the listener by the throat with its overpowering sense of urgency. Hollow Disposition then slams away with its metallic guitars, chilling synth underscore and thoroughly impassioned vocal performances. “The strain you put on us is eating me alive,” kicks off Giving Up My Pride, a devastating track about breaking free from a harmful relationship.
A Chance To Change My Ways is stirring, featuring dynamic clean vocals all the way throughout, unleashing a whole new side to The Illumination that should really excite their fans as well as gain them new converts. The brutality returns with the mighty Limb From Limb, with sonic breakdowns and growling vocals that will make you bloodthirsty for the nearest mosh pit. Homewrecker then arrives on your doorstep, ready to annihilate the senses of all whom encounter its thoroughly lethal reprieves. “Fuck your closure, I’ve wished you dead for this,” the lyrics on this one seethe with a venomous rage.
Underneath My Skin will explode through your psyche, complete with a “promise me I’m better off” chorus that soars into the stratosphere. “Meet me where the ocean meets the sky” the vocals invite as Holding On launches with a dirty guitar interlude before evolving into an exhilarating song of anthem-like proportions. And then the real surprise occurs with the wondrously heartfelt Invincible, where the emotionally charged vocals and sentimental lyrics render this one an absolute standout. And then the grand finale arrives in the form of Separations, concluding the album on a victorious note.
The talented musicians who light up The Illumination’s ferocious and yet highly imaginative sound include Michael Florio on vocals, Rod Pires on guitar and vocals, Steve Almon on guitar, Rob Lundy on bass, and Thomas Crosby on drums. Departures by The Illumination is heavy enough to satisfy the metalcore masses and adventurous enough to ensure a vast and celebrated future as time and genres roll relentlessly on. Produced with skillful precision by Nick Ingram (Before Their Eyes, City Lights, Legacy) at Capital House Studio in Columbus, Ohio.
(Review by Ken Morton)
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