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Iluvatar - Children CD (album) cover





3.70 | 128 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars ILUVATAR took their name from a character in J.R.R.Tolkien's book called The Silmarillion. I don't know if it's a coincidence that the title of the book has the word marillion in it, but that would be a great reference point in desrcibing this U.S. bands music. This was one of those occasions where I wasn't expecting much from this record and promptly got blown away after one listen. The emotions in this recording are something else, but I like everything about it including the lyrics which are so meaningful and thought provoking. Even the cover art is amazing.

"Haze" begins 30 seconds in with beautiful piano melodies as the rest of the band including vocals come in. The sound becomes more aggressive 1 1/2 minutes in. The drums are crisp, the bass is heavy and the organ is great. I just love their sound. Themes are repeated and the mood changes. Passionate vocals after 5 minutes followed by some beautiful guitar. "In Our Lives" opens with a stunning organ, drums and guitar melody. It settles down as organ then vocals arrive. The sound starts to get fuller. A childrens choir comes in at 2 1/2 minutes sounding incredible. A nice guitar solo follows. You can hear children playing in the background. Some nice bass as the sound builds. The choir is back again followed by some great guitar that goes on and on as drums pound away and bass throbs. "Given Away" is a laid back track that opens with waves of synths as guitar is tastefully played. Reserved vocals come in and a fuller sound 1 1/2 minutes in. So emotional. Drums become quite prominant after 4 minutes followed by an excellent guitar solo. Amazing tune. "Late Of Conscience" opens with a dark atmosphere. Synths and vocals before 1 1/2 minutes. Drums and a fuller sound follow including some raw guitar. Nice synth solo 5 1/2 minutes followed by a guitar solo that soars. Perhaps the best part of the song is the melancholic ending.

"Cracker" is brighter and more uptempo. It kicks butt for the first minute and then vocals,synths and drums create a good melody. Some nice guitar 2 1/2 minutes in and it's even better later at 4 minutes. Check out the organ / bass / guitar melody 5 1/2 minutes in with drums all over the place. "Eye Next To Glass" is different with the almost mono-toned vocals and samples of people speaking in the background as guitar and keys play tastefully. There is some guest flute played on this one as well. Waves of sound and lots of atmosphere before the vocals return 3 1/2 minutes in. After 4 minutes is so emotional as waves of synths keep coming and continue into the beginning of "Your Darkest Hour". Then a great melody of bass,drums and guitar are joined by vocals. Synths washes arrive. I love the calm that arrives 2 1/2 minutes in. Fantastic sound after 4 minutes including an outstanding guitar solo. "The Final Stroke" opens with piano. There is mellotron in this one as well. Guitar shines 2 1/2 minutes in and goes on and on. Piano is back. Synth solo 4 1/2 minutes followed by waves and waves of mellotron / synths until it ends before 7 minutes. Banks-like synths pulse as drums and bass help out. Great section. Solo piano 9 minutes in as drums and bass join in as the sound builds. Ripping organ 10 minutes in as blistering guitar joins in.It settles after 11 minutes with vocals returning before 12 minutes to end song.

This truly is an excellent recording that Neo-Prog fans should enjoy immensely.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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