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Tillian - Lotus Graveyard CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

4.95 | 3 ratings

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kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Honorary Reviewer
5 stars I was working through the text of Volume 3 of TPU last year and came across an interview I had conducted with Opher Vishnia of Solstice Coil. It was the first European interview ever undertaken by the Israeli progressive rock band, and it made me wonder how they were doing these days. It didn't take long to track down Opher, who told me that although the band had some success, they were all now following different musical areas, although they had never officially broken up. We swapped stories, remarked on how many people within the progressive scene work in IT (Opher is in a start-up while I am a CIO), and he then asked me if I would be interested in hearing the debut album of the band he is now working with which is how I came across Tillian.

The project began when began in 2014 when singer-songwriter Leah Marcu started writing and composing a solo album around the concept of alchemical transformations of the self. Working with producer Erez Yohanan (Orphaned Land) she pulled together a group of musicians to record the album, before forming a band to play the music live, of which only her sister Alexandra Marcu (cello) appeared on the album. For the live environment they not only have Opher on guitar but also Yaron Gilad, showing this is a very heavy outfit indeed (check out the live performance of 'Black Holes' on YouTube). The band is a seven-piece, with both cello and keyboards, and are undoubtedly progressive metal in their approach, although they say they are influenced equally by Pain of Salvation and Kate Bush and that definitely comes through.

Although much of the music is Western in approach, with a very strong bottom end, there are also times when they also bring in local influences and if one listens to the album carefully one would be able to discern their origins as there are times when they bring in elements also familiar to fans of Orphaned Land. Complex and complicated this is a metal band who are incredibly accessible, with a frontwoman with a great range and presence, and an album that moves in many different ways without ever falling too far away from metal roots. I must confess to falling in love with this the first time I heard it and have enjoyed it more and more as I have got further into it. It isn't always in your face, there is plenty of contrast and diversity which provides the dynamics we crave, and the use of piano as an underlying lightness together with some funky Eighties keyboard sounds certainly provides lightness. 'The Beggar' is based around piano and cello supporting sublime vocals, but there are also plenty of times within the album when the guys shred and all bets are off.

If this band was based in Europe or America, I know everyone would be raving about them, but as it is they are in Israel, so it is up to progheads and metalheads to search them out. Exciting and vibrant, here is a band who could make a very serious name for themselves both within the prog scene and beyond.

kev rowland | 5/5 |


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