Monday, November 14, 2011

Illuminate - Grenzgang (2011)

It’s interesting to listen to gorgeous vocals in a different language. You’ll hear nothing but that from Illuminate. The German 6 piece has recently released their new studio album, entitled “Grenzgang.” This is the bands 16th full length album and from the sounds of it, they’ve really out done themselves. It has a mixture of depressive melodic sounds mixed with beautiful gothic tones.

The album is introduced with “Hinab…” which is a short minute and a half instrumental that starts with sound effects of birds and footsteps of a person walking into a house. Soon after enter quiet strings as it set up the next song, entitled “Mein Leben Ohne Mich.” The strings become louder as distorted guitars begin to blast away along with thumping kicks and snares. As the verse begins, the guitars and drums cut out leaving only the eerie string in the background which really surround the clean vocals. The voice consists of depressive and yet soothing tones. The guitars pick up again as they are slammed in the background with a simple drum beat behind them. Female vocals soon take over in the verse and give off an amazingly beautiful feel to the mix. The German lyrics are refreshing and sound incredible. The song includes a powerful solo towards the end hitting s wide variety of notes which really brighten up the track.

“Gemeinsam” opens with catchy upbeat piano melodies and angelic strings that immediately grab you. This is followed with blaring guitar riffs and booming drums forcing you to want to bob your head. The chorus has the male and female vocals bouncing back and forth to each other with catchy guitars in the background. The melody of the lyrics will be stuck in your head for days. “Neuland” provides you with similar riffs as it opens with gorgeous piano notes that sound as if they’re speaking to you in a ravishing voice. When the verse kicks in, you can really feel the emotion that was put into the vocals. This is definitely a “must hear” song on the album.

Dark strings enter slowly in “Nebenrolle” along with haunting piano keys. The opening instruments create a very beautiful atmosphere as the male vocals come in with soft tones. The melodic keys fit perfect in the background as they echo gentle throughout the song. Later the female vocals slowly make their way to the front of the song as she sings alongside the male vocals in gorgeous harmony. More echoing vocals are heard in “Morgen Ein Stuck Weiter.” The melodies will make you want to replay this track a few times for sure.

Things start to pick up with “Gotterdammerung” which starts off slow with smooth female vocals but are soon interrupted by monstrous guitar riffs chugging away while snapping snares and bright cymbals clash together in the background. Pay attention to the drum rolls towards the end. The fills are absolutely mind blowing as you hear crushing patterns full of detail. “Ausgezahlt” is another aggressive track that starts out with evil strings and destructive guitar riffs. Surprisingly enough you are met with a wicked black metal vocal full of devilish features in the opening verse. It starts with evil clean vocals but then gets more and more angry and louder throughout the song. This is definitely a different sound for the band and really provides them with a unique tone. They also include a reckless solo that runs up and down the scales violently. The guitars are absolutely electrifying in this one.

“Grenzgang” is full of mixed emotions. The catchy piano riffs and sad vocals along with eerie strings and violent guitars really express a lot of feelings in many different ways. Illuminate shows an impressive performance with the instruments and structures of each song. I definitely suggest you check this album out.


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