......................................THE BAND AND RECORD OF THE MONTH
Progressive Rock & Progressive Metal - Logo
. JANUARY 2013
Comments:
The Illumion are almost a tipical symphonic progressive rock band from Netherlands, where style, Symphonic Progressive Rock, predominates in many bands originating from that country, where we can mention some of them, such as "Earth and Fire", "Egdon Heath", "Finch", "Flamborough Head", "Focus", "Golden Earring", "Kayak", "Like Wendy", "Mangrove", "Odyssice", "PBII", "Plackband", "Salmon" and "Trion", where most is already enshrined in international progressive rock scene. Illumion is an amazing new symphonic progressive rock band, who, with incredible skill and talent of its members, introduces into their compositions, subtle touches of a Melodic Prog Metal, puting together passages of Art-Rock. But, their music is so clean and lovely, totally dominated by incredible guitar solos, beautifully led by lovely Eveline van Kampen, that sometimes it float around through the heavy rhythms, but, not so aggressive, characteristic of the melodic metal style, however, most often, the guitar's solos, prevails the symphonic style. Another important point on this quintet, and a good moment to focus on the musical performance from the group, are the vocals from Esther Ladiges, all her vocals tones are clearly the trademark of the band, her voices tones is soft and fits perfect with the music, singing in english, Esther Ladiges is an excellent vocalist, she has a well recognisable singing style, blending vocal tones in the same line from female singers such as "Floor Jansen", "Rachel Jones", "Anne-Marie Helder", "Christina Booth", "Sharon den Adel" and "Anneke van Giersbergen", meanwhile, she clearly does not try to copy any of them, in that case, without comparison, reveling a single poetic feeling and harmonic to the compositions. Continuing with more details about the wonderful band's music, they use a diverse instrumental composition, in tempo and structure, using different rhythms, with the help of acoustic instruments like Mandolin, Acoustic Guitars, Guzheng (The early types of guzheng emerged during the Warring States period. It was largely influenced by the se, a plucked stringed instrument. It became prominent during the Qin period, and by the Tang Dynasty, the guzheng was arguably the most commonly played instrument in China.) and Erhu (The erhu can be traced back to instruments introduced into China more than a thousand years ago.) also it´s possible listen nice electronic effects, taken from guitar-synths and atmospheric keyboard arrangements, lastly, drums and bass together like a supporting the instrumental, giving an extraordinary power to the arrangements. "The  Waves" is their second album, where I consider like a masterpiece, generously edited in two different formats, CD and Vinyl, where, especially I chose to have the vinyl, a double album, that including a beautiful art-work, featuring eleven tracks including two bonus track, not evaluable on the CD. It is hard to determine which is the best track on "The Waves" album, not one specifically is better than the others. The tracks are all of an evenly high quality. If I had to choose my favourite tracks would be "Ember", "Adamantine",  "A Tale Of Kings", "Espirando", "Mystify" and "The Waves", this last song, revels the exact identity of this band, splendid guitar solos, and mainly, by the vocal  performance. You must enjoy this album and this incredible band. The Illumion follows in the same musical line and blendig styles from many bands such as "Earth And Fire", "Egdon Heath", "The Gathering", "Magenta", "Karnataka", "Ambeon", "Finch", "Flamborough Head", "The Aurora Project", "Focus", "Golden Earring", "After Forever", "Kayak", "Like Wendy", "Agua De Annique", "Mangrove", "Odyssice", "PBII", "Plackband", "Salmon", "Trion" and so on. Brilliant and fantastic, an amazing album and an incredible band, highly recommendable...

The line-up on The Illumion album are:
Eveline van Kampen - Electric and Acoustic Guitars, Erhu, Mandolin & Backing Vocals
Esther Ladiges - Vocals & Percussion
Peter H. Boer - 6-String Fretted and Fretless Bass, Stick, Double Bass, Taurus3 & Backing Vocals
Tom Rutgers - Drums & Percussion
Gerton Leijdekker - Keyboards, Acoustic & Electric Guitars, Guitar-Synth & Backing Vocals
Guest Musicians:
Pearl Cheng - Guzheng on "Mystify" & "Espirando", Wouter Hakhoff - Trumpet on "Sorrows End", Arjen A. Lucassen - Voice on "Mystify"

THE ILLUMION

In 2002, after graduating from the conservatory, department jazz and pop, Eveline wanted an ensemble to give the music in her head a voice. She formed a band with the following professional musicians: Peter H. Boer, bassist of "Songs of the Exile" (Musea Records), "Ulysses" and "Dwaalspoor", Esther Ladiges, known for her vocal contributions to "Sangamo", "Ayreon", "Ixion" and "Unicorn", and Emile Boellaard, drummer of "Songs of the Exile", Erik van Muiswinkel and the famous Dutch duo "Hadewych Minis & Mike Boddé".

In January 2010, Tom Rutgers took over Emile's place behind the drums, a young enthusiastic drummer, currently a student at the Conservatory of Alkmaar. Illumionís new keyboard player is Gerton Leijdekker, who is also the guitarist/vocalist/composer of "Songs of the Exile", bringin not only keyboards but also nylon string guitar and guitar-synth to the sonic palette.

In 2004, a first demo was produced independently by The Illumion: "Into The Labyrinth", containing three songs, composed by Eveline. Two years later, "Into The Labyrinth part II" appeared containing six songs, which included three covers of "Pain of salvation", "Fates Warning" and "Ark".

Recorded over a period of 4 years , The Illumion released their debut album "Hunting For Significance" with Progress Records (Sweden) in May 2009.

Its music is dreamlike symphonic and progressive with jazz influences and definite feminine edges. Historical and literary themes form the basis for the lyrics, closely interwoven with the mysticism of the human mind. Imaginative literary inspiration for this album among others are: Oscar Wilde, William Blake, Charles Dickens, Franz Kafka and Edgar Allan Poe.

The songs integrate catchy choruses, melancholic verses and dynamic bridges with solos and madrigalesque part-singing. The unexpected turn of events is one of the main themes of this album, which leads to surprising musical twists and turns. The album shows a huge variety in atmosphere.

Special guests have performed on this album in order to make the music as varied and interesting as possible. Exotic instruments have not been shunned: the Irish flute, the Chinese two-stringed spike fiddle (erhu) and the Chinese four-stringed lute (pipa) are neatly assimilated into western musical structures. Illumion has chosen to deviate from conventional paths in order to create a unique style and atmosphere.

"Hunting for Significance" contains 11 original compositions, with a total length of almost 60 minutes. The CD comes with a 16 page full-colour booklet and decorated inlay.

"The Waves" was written and recorded in less then 2 years, "The Waves" shows a band that has grown.

The songs again all started out on Eveline's musical framework and lyrics, but have evolve into a fuller band effort. Still incorporating the typical Illumion elements of progressive, symphonic and jazz influences, modern synths/textures are added and the songs dynamics have been increased.

Strong guitar riffs are quickly followed by liquid synths and pulsing rythms interrupted by nylon string guitar or monstrous Taurus pedals. Increased interplay between the lead vocals and backing vocals, that now include 2 male voices, add to the tonal variety.

Special guests again appear to even further the diversity, this time including Guzheng (Chinese zither), trumpet and the voice of Arjen ("Ayreon") Lucassen.

The Illumion signed a new deal with a new label Freia Music, who specialize in vinyl releases so "The Waves" comes as a combi pack containing an 11 song double album on HQ 180g vinyl plus a 9 song CD.

New Release

"The Waves"
(Double album Vinyl)

Side 1:
01) Ember
02) Adamantine
03) The Craft Of Memory

Side 2:
01) A Tale Of Kings
02) Sorrows End
03) Espirando

Side 3:
01) Mystify
02) Canvas
03) The Waves

Side 4:
..(bonus side,
...not on CD):
01) Elegy Of Treason
02) Sorrows End .....(Acoustic version)

180g HQ vinyl Gatefold sleeve - Double album and CD. 12 songs (9 on CD). Released on Freia Music label.

Music by The Illumion, Lyrics by Eveline van Kampen. Recorded at 'The Granny Attic studios', additional recordings at 'Slater III studio'. Produced, mixed & mastered by Peter H. Boer. Artwork, package design and cover photo imaging by Jeroen - LimeMedia.nl. Cover photography (original) by Glennis Siverson. Additional photography and imaging by Jankees Braam at Ixion Music.

Contact information - Eveline van Kampen

You can visit The Illumion on MySpace Site, Facebook and also on YouTube.

The Illumion - Scarlet sin

The Illumion - The Craft of Memory

The Illumion -  Studio Visit

For more information and every thing about the musicians and band, please visit THE ILLUMION HOME PAGEN
 
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