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Illucia - 111 Award winner

by Max Elias at 05 October 2019, 8:42 AM

ILLUCIA come from Bangalore, and judging by the album cover, play the kind of balls-to-the wall Power/Thrash Metal that spawned in the 80s. The first track of this EP, “Intro”, is classic Thrash Metal album opening material; a soft, pretty acoustic prelude, that is very classical sounding, to set up the impending chaos.

It doesn’t stay pretty for long, though; “Lucy” assails the ears with cutting riffs and strident rhythms, precisely executed to a fault. The guitar tone they get on this is also very 80s—it’s crisp, clean, and loud enough, but not so loud as to drown out the other elements of the music. Which turns out to be a good thing, as those other elements are also praiseworthy. The drumming is the workhorse pulling everything forward, and the at times banshee-like vocals bristle with the exuberance of 80s metal.

The songs are short, but contain multitudes. “Seraph Fiend” is only a second under 3:30, but there is time for riffs on riffs on riffs, and a short but potently-placed solo. The next song, “111”, follows a similar pattern. The vocals are a little rough and not as polished as many Power/Thrash vocalists (like the great James Rivera), but they have charm to them. The pedal tone riffing is textbook modern Thrash, but it’s a standard device for a reason. Especially with harmonies, they sound really full.

Every instrument gets a role and a chance to show off a little; the intro of “High Priest” is all about drum rolls. Even once the guitar comes in with more of those angular, chugging Power/Thrash riffs, the drums on top maintain their centrality. Also, the best riff on the album is the break at about the 1:45 mark of this song. “High Priest” is especially filled with great riffs, and an impressively melodic solo that relies on long, expressive notes before flowing into speedy runs.

As a reviewer, I think the best thing I can say about an album is that I wish there was more of it; that is certainly the case here. These six (I guess five, since “Intro” barely counts) songs are all excellently written—the riffing is fresh and aggressive, the rhythm section never lacks energy, and the band retains enough melody to remain interesting. As a debut album especially, stellar work. I want them to write more, preferably full-length material, and will be happy to spread the word if and when it happens.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Memorability: 9
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

1. Intro
2. Lucy
3. Seraph Fiend
4. 111
5. The High Priest
6. Decimation Of The Circle
Nitin M. Charles - Guitars
Shrivatsa Balaji - Drums
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 06 August 2020

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