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Steve Sperandeo – “Contagious Emotions” – intimate storytelling that inebriates the senses

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ILLUMENIUM: “Towards Endless 8” – a diamond in the rough!

ILLUMENIUM is an independent rock band from Estonia. Active since last year October, the band has been touring to promote their debut album Towards Endless 8” tour in Europe. In 2016 ILLUMENIUM plans to hit Australia and USA. They are truly an independent band.  ILLUMENIUM have their own label, they handle and organize their own tours and concerts, as well as self-produce their videos. The band currently consists of members: Kari Kärner – vocal/rhythm guitar, Andre Kaldas – scream/growl, Grigori Rõžuk – lead guitar, Kevin Presmann – drums and Rob Jürvetson – bass.

ILLUMENIUM

ILLUMENIUM

After a listen or two through this little diamond in the rough, which is Towards Endless 8”, it is not hard to fathom why ILLUMENIUM is etching such a tangible place for themselves in the rock industry. On hearing gems like “Jackal”, “La Bruja”, “My Last Cocaine” and “Hotel Breakers”, on the first part of the album, you catch a glimpse of a band cultivating enormous rock songs, washed in full-on melody and fiery aggression. And it only gets better!

“Killer Religion” and “Towards Endless 8” are slower in places, yet as powerful as anything that came before it. On “The Sick Letter”, the band switches and changes tempos and textures, from verse to chorus and back again, showcasing their absolute complicity and cohesion as a unit. Towards Endless 8” is an absolutely stunning, mature rock album for a debut. It covers lots of ground -from post-grunge to aggro hardcore to trippy, swaying, sighing laments to hook-laden, heavy rock grooves that easily outshine many of their peers – and each new note is easily taken in stride.

The album cover

The album cover

ILLUMENIUM sound like veterans and completely established musicians. The Production is perfect for the material too – showcasing Grigori Rõžuk’s sunlight-tinged riffs and Kari Kärner’s all-encompassing voice, while managing to stay loose and natural, and not forced or clinical as some modern rock albums sometimes sound like. The music on the album is structured extremely well and is laced with complexities, yet it still remains accessible.

Towards Endless 8”, crystallizes absolutely everything about rock music that I love, and ILLUMENIUM somehow pulls it off in such a confident, swaggering way that it’s breathtaking. The timbre, the mix, the ensemble of instruments they put together and the staggering power and muscle of their playing, ensure that there are no weak tracks on this album.

ILLUMENIUM in action!

ILLUMENIUM in action!

The rockers are smoking. The moody stuff broods and builds and draws you in, while the happier stuff feels exuberant. ILLUMENIUM even find the time to be acoustically smooth and groovy on “Stairway To No Heaven”. Then it’s back to their usual heavy grind on “Reality Check”, “Social Network” and “Bulgaria”.

The determined, tough rhythms on here blend perfectly with the penetrating, portentous lyrics, while the band’s precision and powerfully melodic vocals is a nice balance to the disturbing, uncontrolled quality of the growling which surfaces during the tracks. ILLUMENIUM prove they are a versatile band that can make any type of song, as opposed to the many one-dimensional heavy-rock or metal bands currently doing the rounds.

The bottom line is that if you have a more sophisticated, multidimensional view of alternative rock music but don’t want to sacrifice the visceral raw power of its hardcore roots, then ILLUMENIUM is your band!

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