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The Chronicles Of Israfel - A Trillion Lights, Tome II

The Chronicles Of Israfel
A Trillion Lights, Tome II
by Garrett Davis at 06 May 2017, 11:34 PM

THE CHRONICLES OF ISRAFEL release their second concept album nine years after their first. A Progressive Metal band from Quebec, TCOI seems to be a concept band who are centred around the titular character Israfel. Taking obvious influences from Prog legends DREAM THEATER and some other respected Metal veterans like SYSTEM OF A DOWN, “A Trillion Lights” is an enjoyable technical concept album with a fine balance of intensities for those who get bored with a single tone. The vocals can get drowned out at times and there are a few production hiccups but nothing that ruins the album overall.

Colors of the Energy Construct” is a light instrumental opening with strings whilst “Goddamned” is a more aggressive song with distorted vocals and an admittedly catchy hook. “I Remember” switches up the formula but still includes similar tonal changes so that it ties in with the previous tracks and so there are moments where there is a common sound tying everything together. It's an interesting choice that unifies the album without allowing it to get too repetitive. “Nightmare” cranks up the severity again, bringing out a pummelling track before things take a softer turn with “Spirit Carousel”. A breathy lament at odds with the previous track, it's these tonal shifts that remind me strongly of DREAM THEATER.

Somewhere between these two extremes, “Life I know” is a blending of soft and somber yet harsh and unyielding sounds. TCOI manage to blend disparate elements instead of slamming two tones up against each other and calling it music; they weave the severe elements into the softer, making it a cohesive whole. “In Ruins” definitely shows their influences, with piano, strings and layered vocals, it sounds so much like something from DREAM THEATER's “Scenes From A Memory” that they couldn't deny the influence even if they wanted. “In Ruins” is clearly a love letter to these titans of Prog and as a huge fan of theirs, I can appreciate the tribute.

Despite the harsh sounding title “Hatred in My Heart” is more reflective than aggressive. It struck me more as a tale of someone struggling with their hatred or trying to forgive than someone out for bitter revenge, which is a more common narrative these days. “Violet Empress” is the more aggressive track, with savage distortions and screeching noises near the end to punctuate the pummelling, it sounded absolutely painful, but in a good way. “Greet the Sun” sounds like a funeral lament, telling the listener to “lay waste on your way to greet the sun”

A Trillion Lights” is the title track and appropriately focuses on the concept of the album, with the vocals begging the hero Israfel to guide them back home. “Incendia” is a quiet, austere piece, bringing us close to the end with a sweet instrumental. “The Turning of the Century” is the final track and starts off with more Soft Rock and leads into heavy Prog, with a little bit of everything thrown in for good measure on this thirteen-minute finale.

All things considered, “A Trillion Lights” is a great follow up and for its long-time fans that have been waiting nine years, I think it was definitely worth the wait.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Colors of the Energy Construct
2. Goddamned
3. I Remember
4. Nightmare
5. Spirit Carousel
6. Life I know
7. In Ruins
8. Hatred in my Heart
9. Violet Empress (Last Love)
10. Greet the Sun
11. A Trillion Lights
12. Incendia
13. The Turning of the Century
Lineup:
Dominic Cifarelli - Vocals, Guitars
Justin Piedimonte - Drums
Andrew Wieczorek - Keys, Piano, Vocals
Marc Durkee - Bass, Backing Vox
Vincent Cifarelli - Piano, String Arrangements
Rico Antonucci - Vocals
Record Label: Bridge of Hands Entertainment
     


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