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Iluvatar - Ilúvatar CD (album) cover





3.23 | 81 ratings

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4 stars Iluvatar are named after the supreme deity of Tolkien's Middle Earth, a mysterious and distant figure who is not discussed especially directly in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings; what we know about this character, we know mainly from the Silmarillion. Which is, of course, the book which Marillion took their name from (chopping off the "Sil" to avoid any legal unpleasantness)... so that's a fairly clear hint right there where the band are getting their inspiration from.

Sure enough, this is fairly straight-ahead neo-prog in the mould of early Marillion, with perhaps a dash of Pendragon added. I was ready to give this one an average rating and move on... except that to my ears there's something special to it which makes it earn a higher rating than I'd usually give to fairly unoriginal neo-prog groups. Take, for instance, vocalist Glenn McLaughlin, whose vocal style is in the main rather generic and bland... except he's able to add just a little extra pinch of emotion and sincerity to his delivery than the vocalists of many similar generic neo-prog groups. The same goes for all the other instrumentalists, the band's talents coming together to powerful effects on tracks such as the spooky Marionette.

In short, Iluvatar play a style of perfectly generic, middle-of-the-road neo-prog... except they play this style significantly better than any of the other groups partaking of this particular style. Maybe they don't have the sheer personality and individuality of the top rank of neo-prog bands, but I'd say they're amongst the best of the second tier.

Warthur | 4/5 |


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