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Back to times Of Splendor
July 2004
Released: 2004, Metal Blade
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: JP

Boring, boring, boring!! I pull out my hair in frustration when these musically killer acts don’t or won’t present themselves in a more marketable manner. I know that sounds odd as many metal musicians could not care less about image and so on, but reality is does count and you never get a chance to make a first impression. That’s why as a critic I like to help expose great bands like Disillusion to a wider audience that might have glanced at in the store but passed on it.

From the top we have a pretty lame band name but I’m surprised there is only one or two other bands with the same name thus far. The logo is really plain, the text is small, the font is hard to eye and the colour makes it hard to see the song titles. The inside of the booklet is black and white, which is a shame because there are some cool graphical ideas that needed colour to jump out at you. Oh well, everyone has a budget and does what they can. At least the lyrics are there.

This Germany three-piece provides good value! Don’t let the six songs fool you the disc is just under an hour long and has two 14 minute plus cuts. I might suggest that Disillusion are helping develop/pioneer a newer sound the combination of death, prog and power metal all into one neat framework. Bands like Into Eternity are also fooling around with these sounds. After a debut, independent EP Metal Blade scooped these guys up and it was a good call as the caliber of talent is immense.

If I had to quantify the division of styles, I would say 40% death metal, 40% progressive and 20% classic or power metal. It is a heady mix top be sure and one that caught my ear and respect right away. To mix opposite styles is hard to do but Disillusion have found the right proportion of each to intersperse them into a cohesive whole. In terms of arranging the songs, especially the longer ones it would be too easy to fall into the trap of, “This the death metal part, now here comes the progressive part’. They synthesize the styles nicely into something quite innovative. It’s hard to explain but I like it.

The emotions presented in each cut range from crushing death, to light acoustic guitar, to spoken words parts, some keyboards but never leaving behind the guitars. Lyrically this is pretty typical prog fare, intelligent and at times elusive as to the actual meaning of the words. A difficult release to embrace but well worth the effort to try to comprehend something new.
Track Listing

1. And The Mirror Cracked
2. Fall
3. Alone I Stand In Fires
4. Back to Times Of Splendour
5. A Day By The Lake
The Sleep of Restless Hours


Vartox-vocals, bass, guitar, keys
Rajk Barthel-guitar
Jens Maluschka-drums



Other reviews

» Back to Times of Splendor
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» Back to times Of Splendor
by JP

» Gloria
by Lord of the Wasteland

Next review: » Disillusion - Gloria
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