Illusion's Parade
Style: Power Metal
Release date: November 13th 2009

Gothenburg's Nostradameus have always been on the heavier side of the power metal genre, and with their sixth release, "Illusion's Parade," they continue with their thrashy, progressive compositions. Guitarist Jake Fredén is a top-notch shredder with great technical ability, and Freddy Persson is one of the best power metal vocalists out there, with his raspy mid-range and aggressive-edged vocals. His voice is not overbearingly high-pitched like most power metal vocalists, not that I mind falsetto vocals, but Persson's range fits well with the aggressive and dark sound of the band.

"Walk Of Pain" begins with an eerie and ominous keyboard intro and sampled percussion sounds, followed by an edgy riff and some quick ripping leads before Persson starts the first verse. It sports a double-layered vocal chorus and is a good start to the album. "Art of Deception" has a thrashy, aggressive vocal delivery, as well as some evil backing vocals and a dual-vocal chorus. "Broken Soul (Virgin Mary)" is an awesome 10-plus minute epic, with a Dream Theater progressive opening and some mid-paced riffery and a huge sounding chorus. The acoustic break mid-song fits nicely and is followed by an Esko Salow "Xanadu"-ish Neil Peart roto-tom fill. It has everything a power metal song could ask for, probably the best song on the CD. "Armageddon Forever" starts off as an all-out thrash song with some evil, "throaty" vocals thrown in for good measure.

Nostradameus have taken the speed and melody from their previous efforts and morphed it into something more tenacious and dynamic on "Illusion's Parade." The production has a fat sound, with odd percussion and keyboard samples peaking out at just the right time.

"Illusion's Parade" is loaded with great power riffs, excellent vocals, melodic choruses, great harmonies, progressive guitar leads and excellent drumming. Nostradameus should finally get the recognition they deserve, as they are proving to the metal community that they are not just another run of the mill power metal band. They step outside the norm and weave great melodies, combined with a heaviness that most bands of this genre would not feel comfortable in doing. Nice job.

01. Walk of Pain
02. Art of Deception
03. The Mariner
04. Nothing
05. Eclipse of the Sun Cult
06. Broken Soul (Virgin Mary)
07. Illusion's Parade
08. Armageddon Forever
09. Time for Madness
Label: AFM Records
Distribution: Target (Denmark)
Reviewed by: Kelley Simms
Date: November 11th 2009