Just over 2 years ago Illuminatus made people take notice with their debut album ‘The Wrath of the Lambs’, now with their new 11 track gem they are ready to take their place at the main table of rock. ‘Glasnost’ is a masterclass in song writing with power and intensity, and atmosphere and melodic creativity. The music is structured and driven wrapping around the precise and insightful lyrics perfectly.
The first track ‘Glasnost’ starts life with an almost Breed 77 like guitar intro before bursting into a full on delight of metal at its best, unrelenting until the last note, then a moment’s pause before ‘Murdocracy’ continues the journey of noise. Each track takes us through emotions, from sorrowful laments to defiant opinion, in words and sound delivering their creativity as a band and individuals.
The vocals of Julio Taylor define each tracks message with passion and feeling, supported by some of the most refreshing guitar work in recent releases from Jonathan Martin. From flat out metal like ‘Keep Calm And Carry On’ to atmospheric flavours such as ‘Clarity’, Illuminatus do not hold back, with the driven drums and bass of Felix Rullhuser and Leo Giovazzini respectively shaping the canvas for the landscape of sound. The album ends as strikingly as it starts with the snarling ‘Wolves!’, the track epitomises the whole album with its strength and musical beauty. Not a word probably used in regard to an abundance of metal albums but this is, in the way the songs are composed and arranged, the care the band have to all aspects as they turn their ideas into unique songs.
Though a Nottingham band, Illuminatus is multinational in person and that also adds spices to their sound with Taylor and Giovazzini’s Latin culture coming through as on the title track. Producer Willi Dammeier (Apoptygma Berzerk, Fony, Symphony Cult) adds to the quality of the music as he helps bring the single elements and the overall package into a focused and intense slice of metal history. This feels like the point Illuminatus becomes a paragraph in rock culture no longer a footnote in the latest chapter.
‘Glasnost’ is released on Headroom Records on February 7th and I urge you to check it out. It is a must listen for fans of bands like Deftones, Paradise Lost and October File, and all those who like their metal to have quality and substance. Catch them on their soon to start UK tour and at their website.