After five years of the release of their last album, finally the Greek band Illusory is back with a new work entitled: CRIMSON WREATH (2021), a 14-piece work with a great sound that shows the strength of this group, as the the album’s conception was framed by different events that put the members’ spirits to the test. Fortunately, it is enough to listen to the album to realize that the end result was very positive.
Illusory is a band that knows how to use the resources it possesses to perfection, that is, although technically they do not take their compositions through high-speed terrain, they do give a great melodic sense to their pieces, creating hooks capable of maintaining attention of the listeners. This manifests itself in many ways and one of them is the voice.
Dee Theodorou does a great job on vocals; he is not a vocalist who sings super sharp, but he is a vocalist who knows his skills perfectly and that allows him to add choral voices to his lines, managing to give his interpretation much more color and becoming one of the most interesting elements in the album.
The guitars do an excellent job, there are riffs like “Fortress Of Sadness” or “All Blood Red”, which perfectly combine rhythm and melody. However, curiously they shine brighter when times are slow, as in the intro to “S.T. Forsaken” or “Past Forever Last”, because the expressive level is very high, we not only hear notes but also sensations.
CRIMSON WREATH also stands out for having a very risky but effective structure. After being greeted with “Besetting Sins”, the album immediately moves on to an acoustic intro and is followed by the eponymous piece whose sound may well have been in the second half of the album. But no. Illusory wanted to create a whole journey through this work.
The audacious structure of the album is crowned at the end, where we listen to a suite entitled “An Opus Of Loss And Sorrow: Pedestal” composed of three parts: “Past Forever Last”, “The Isle Of Shadows” and “Agony’s Last”; in it again we witness how Illusory shines with a special light when it slows down the tempo.
“The Isle Of Shadows” is one of the best songs in the album; there the band shows its great melodic sense being able to amalgamate its technical qualities to offer something that captures the ears without any problem. Their combination of harmonized guitars with an acoustic guitar base is great.
Illusory has produced a very enjoyable album. Its melodic qualities are perceived without any difficulty. The production was at the height of the compositions, without any instrument being relegated or buried. Hopefully the conditions allow the band to go on stage very soon, as it will definitely be interesting to listen to the songs on this album live.
Greg Bakos – Guitars
Niki Danos – Bass
Costas Koulis – Drums
George Papantonis – Guitars
Dee Theodorou – Vocals
Makis Vandoros – Keyboards
All Shall Fade
All Blood Red
The Voice Inside Me
Ashes To Dust
A Poem I Couldn’t Rhyme
An Opus Of Loss And Sorrow:Pedestal I: Past Forever Last
An Opus Of Loss And Sorrow:Pedestal II: The Isle Of Shadows
An Opus Of Loss And Sorrow:Pedestal III: Agony’s Last
Fortress Of Sadness