I have to admit that “The Crimson Wreath” by the Athens based Heavy / Power Metal band ILLUSORY was one of the albums that have marked my playlist since it was released.
There are some key features that are highlighted for good in this particular release: The songwriting (first and most important feature in here), the overall excellent performance by each and every band member and the great production.
Those who would spend some good time listening to the record would soon realize that the music included in here is a result that is shaped not just because of the talent but because of the hard work that the band has put into this effort. If it happens for you to have already checked the previous works of those Athenians you would agree that this is their best release on their 30 years journey in the musical realm.
30 years? I am hearing you asking. Yes folks. It is a fact that here we are not dealing with a company of newcomers.
The story of the THE IVORY TOWER goes back to the early 90s as the band was formed back in 1992 and their “Society” demo was out two years later in 1994. It took the band almost a decade to release the “A Few Days Eternity” EP (2005) that was followed by their same titled debut in 2006. This particular release marks the end of the band’s first era.
They returned in 2013 under new name ILLUSORY, they re-recorded and re-released their “The Ivory Tower” album on an expanded and updated edition under their new band name: Same songs, richer arrangements and an overall revisit to the material. The “Polysyllabic” album was their next release (on German label 7hard/7us media). For their third “The Crimson Wreath”, the Ivories signed a new deal with the Italian label Rockshot Records.
On their latest release, ILLUSORY manage to wisely balance all their influences on a sold musical result that matters. Although that the band is mainly building a strong starting point based on classic Heavy Metal and bands like DIO, DOKKEN and IRON MAIDEN they leave enough space for various Power Metal touches both European and US: Bands HELLOWEEN, CRIMSON GLORY and HITTMAN can be easily placed to the influences frame together with CHASTAIN, LEATHERWOLF and FIFTH ANGEL.
So yes, this is the basic formula on this release: Heavy and Power Metal are combined on a soundscape which is mainly based on the solid riffing, the outstanding leads and the wonderful vocals. The Ivories did it again. Who are the Ivories? Oh this is the band’s cute nickname for fans, friends and groupies!
To cut a long story sort. If you are after some first class Heavy / Power Steel check this release out. You will not regret it!