illuminatus – Glasnost Review

They say :-

illuminatus are one Spaniard, one German, one Italian and one English gent. They deal in expansive soundscapes, razor-sharp dynamics and no-nonsense melodic song-writing. For illuminatus there exists no scene; no bandwagon; no fashion war.

Following their collaborations on previous EPs with producers Harvey Birrell (Therapy?, Ministry) and Pete ‘Pee-Wee’ Coleman (AC/DC, Paradise Lost), the music of illuminatus has already drawn comparisons to bands such as Anathema, Paradise Lost, Deftones and Cult of Luna, earning the band significant acclaim and respect from all sections of the national and international music press, whilst gaining particularly glowing reviews from Germany, France, Scandinavia and the Benelux countries for their unique brand of melodic and powerful music.

We Say :-

Pan-European band illuminatus are a recent discovery to me, and by recent I mean I’d never heard of them until their second studio album Glasnost dropped through the letterbox. The band consists of Julio Taylor on Vocals and Guitar, Jon Martin on Guitar backed up by bassist Leo Giovazzini and drummer Felix Rullhusen and together they produce some impressive atmospheric, melodic but f’kin heavy music.

There are multiple layers and textures to the tracks on this album. The opener, Glasnost, moves through a variety of moods but always retains the band’s distinctive feel. The production helps too, and there is a slightly distorted, dirty tone to the sound that seems to suit the feel of the music extremely well.

One of the major strengths of illuminatus is singer Julio’s voice, as he goes from quiet to shouty-loud with an impressive dexterity that shines through on the 11 tracks that make up this album. These variations in the feel are not only conveyed by the vocal delivery though, the band have a similarly wide range of emotions on tap. OK, they maybe overdo the whole start quiet then get loud route but we can let them off with that.

The quality of what is on display here is consistently high, I particularly liked the track Murdocracy which is one of the most straight-up prog-metal-esque songs on here. Other highlights for me include You’ll Never Know What This Means, the stoner-reverb vibe that kicks off Cave In and the finest example of the slow burning build up to a crescendo, the really rather nice Clarity.

There is a lot to recommend this album if you like your metal progressive and sweeping. It’s also an album that bodes extremely well for illuminatus as a live experience.

Track Listing :-

01 – Glasnost
02 – Murderocracy
03 – Division
04 – Reconnect
05 – Cave In
06 – Keep Calm and Carry On
07 – You’ll Never Know What This Means
08 – Red
09 – Gosling
10 – Clarity
11 – Wolves