Power of Metal.dk Review

Illusion X
Style: Melodic Power Metal
Release date: 12 November, 2013
Playing time: 50:46

Fortunately these guys are very proficient musicians and also have a very good vocalist, because if they didn't you might get a little bored. Almost all tracks are well over 5 minutes and sometimes there isn't enough in them to stop you from switching off - it gets a bit tiresome and repetitive. Of the 8 songs only one is under the five minute mark and only another two are under six - and there really isn't any need to drag out the songs as long as they do - it starts to take away the greatness in them, and there is a lot here to like.

The first track 'Look in the Mirror' has dark, symphonic tones with guitar that resembles Alex Skolnick in places, or earlier Yngwie. I am not sure if it should have been chosen as the opening track because it is very slow and doesn't get you going. However, we swiftly charge in to 'Chasing my life', the second track.

As a whole with this album, what is occasionally lacking in lyrical creativity is made up for in the vocal performance - it's great. The guitarist too, is thankfully not one of these annoying 'look how fast I can do everything' players and has a very good understanding of what is musically appropriate - the phrasing is brilliant.

They keyboard and piano work is thoroughly entertaining and it's good to see it so prominent. I know you don't NEED keyboards in power metal per se, but for many including me it's certainly a plus that they have it. It adds invaluable atmosphere to the music when it is used properly, and Artical do indeed use it properly.

Not every power metal song has to be so epically long though, and the reason this album only just escapes 'acceptable' and makes it into 'rock solid' is because the musicians are very talented. If they had shortened some of the songs and made this a ten track album of the same musical calibre then they would have no doubt soared into the higher rating, instead of just scraping in.

01. Look in the Mirror
Chasing my Life
I am so different
Follow the Light
Wings of Time
Run Like the Wind
Illusion X
Label: Pitch Black Records
Distribution: Pitch Black Records
Reviewed by: Matt Fabi
Date: 20 January, 2014
Website: Artical @ Facebook