Illuminata – “A World So Cold” (2011)

Label : Twilight Zone Records

Review by Tony Cannella

My first introduction to the double female fronted Austrian band Illuminata came via their impressive EP, “A Frame of Beauty” in 2009. Now, the band has released their second full-length album “A World So Cold”. Their music is a coming together of symphonic power metal combined with movie score type music. Illuminata is a six member band featuring three males and three females – including two female lead vocalists.

The intro “Ashes of Times” is an orchestral piece that sounds like it’s ready for Hollywood. It is a cool intro that segues into the piano opening of “Cold Hands Warm Hearts”. This is a pretty decent track, but it is the next song “End My Agony”, when the album really takes off. “End My Agony” is one of the best symphonic metal songs I’ve heard all year – great lyrics, too. Having the two female vocalists is a bit of a change from the norm and allows Illuminata to do some cool things with harmonies, duets and such. The two singers do sound a bit different from each other, but not much. They both have an angelic thing going with one more on the operatic side. Illuminata really does the metal meets movie soundtrack score really well, all of their songs are played with full orchestral flair and the whole scope of this project is so huge for such a young band. “Silent Poet” is a dramatic sounding song and another one of my favorites. The symphony and the two vocalists are really sounding great on this track. It would be hard to go track-by-track so some of the other highlights are “The Divine Puppet”, “The World Collector” and the finale “Metamorphobia II” is a nice way to finish things. The songs have a big sound and are dramatic.

It always kills me when people say “the female vocal thing has all been done before, it’s not original”. Yeah, and your point is? Listen, EVERYTHING has been done before. You show me the most original band in the history of mankind and they probably suck, but then again, what do I know? I would rather hear an album worth of good, well written songs than a band that tries too hard to be ‘original’. “A World So Cold” is not lacking quality material that’s for sure and what I liked about their previous EP, the band surpassed on this ambitious project. I look forward to hearing a lot more from Illuminata in the future.

Rating – 88/100

 

Tracklist

  1. Ashes of Times
  2. Cold Hands Warm Hearts
  3. End My Agony
  4. Silent Poet
  5. The Divine Puppet
  6. The World Collector
  7. Dead Warden Dreamer
  8. A Frame of Beauty
  9. Endless
  10. Lost in Picturesque
  11. Metamorphobia II

 

Line Up

  • Joanna Nieniewska – Vocals
  • Katarzyna Nieniewska – Vocals, Flute
  • Luki Knoebl – Guitar
  • Christoph Vide – Bass
  • Sabrina Supan – Keyboards, Vocals
  • Tom Kern – Drums

 

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