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DISILLUSION

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal • Germany


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Disillusion biography
One of the most promising extreme progressive metal bands of the 21st century, DISILLUSION, was formed in 1994 in Lepizig, Germany by Tobias Spier, Alex Motz, Markus Espenhain, Jan Stölzel and the multi-instrumentalist and band's main composer Andy Schmidt, who was the only person from the first bunch that stayed in the band. DISILLUSION remained an unfinished project until Jens Maluschka and Rajk Barthel joined on drums and guitars respectively. Initially influenced by such bands as MESHUGGAH, DISILLUSION released two EP in 2001-2002, adding acoustics to the heavy sound, to follow an old demo, which finally brought them success of the media and fans.

The band's only full-length release so far, "Back to Times of Splendor", was released in 2004 and is a great example of epic modern extreme metal, played with progressive passages and melodic acoustic parts. Not much time has passed since the release of the LP, "Back to Times of Splendor" is already considered to be one of the trademarks of the genre.

Not similiar to any of the following bands, although comparisons could be drawn, DISILLUSION is highly recommended to fans of such groups as OPETH, DEATH, MESHUGGAH, MY DYING BRIDE and ANATHEMA.

The next album is planned to be released in the late spring/early summer of 2006. Stay tuned!

: : : ivansfr0st, LATVIA : : :

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GloriaGloria
Metal Blade 2006
Audio CD$3.61
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Back to Times of SplendorBack to Times of Splendor
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Can You Feel It (A Tribute for the New York Giants) - SingleCan You Feel It (A Tribute for the New York Giants) - Single
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DISILLUSION discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

DISILLUSION top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.20 | 147 ratings
Back To Times Of Splendor
2004
3.84 | 51 ratings
Gloria
2006

DISILLUSION Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

DISILLUSION Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

DISILLUSION Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

DISILLUSION Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.95 | 3 ratings
Red
1997
2.54 | 9 ratings
Three Neuron Kings
2001
2.50 | 9 ratings
The Porter
2002

DISILLUSION Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Back To Times Of Splendor by DISILLUSION album cover Studio Album, 2004
4.20 | 147 ratings

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Back To Times Of Splendor
Disillusion Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Disillusion's debut album is a genius fusion of aggressive death metal and the prog metal sound of the 1990s. It's most impressive for the way the band manage to combine the best of both genres whilst avoiding their less appealing aspects; on the prog metal side, the band bring in all the technically complex and intricate playing and songwriting of the subgenre whilst the death metal aggression allow them to avoid the cheesiness prog metal can stumble into. At the same time, the progressive metal song structures prevent the death metal side of the band from running into a simplistic rut. On the whole, it's a recipe for success.

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 Back To Times Of Splendor by DISILLUSION album cover Studio Album, 2004
4.20 | 147 ratings

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Back To Times Of Splendor
Disillusion Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 'Back To Times Of Splendor' - Disillusion (8/10)

Disillusion is one of those bands I went into listening blindly, going in based solely on the good words of others concerning this album. One of those bands that seems to suddenly cranked their spirits into high gear for this one, the band's debut album has impressed me, to say the least. From what I've heard, the band had only come out with a handful of decent, if not great demos and this came as something of a shock to anyone that had heard the band before. Precedent aside however, 'Back To Times Of Splendor' is an excellent piece of melodic progressive metal that can feel scattered at times, but really leaves an impression on the listener that begs a listen after another.

When speaking of the sound of this band, there is a real mix of disparate progressive metal styles here. Of course, there is the atypical time signatures that one might generally associate with the work of Dream Theater, but there are also many heavier elements here, such as the influence of melodic death metal and the Scandinavian 'viking metal' sound. In any case, the end result is heavy metal that maintains a very melodic sound, and balances equal shares of technicality and epic symphonic sounds. Rounding off the sound is the vocal work of a man credited here only as Vurtox; whose deep voice has a great vibrato to carry even the weakest musical moments here through.

In terms of the songwriting, there are both shorter and longer tracks here, both of which are given a progressive metal do-over. The album's opener 'And The Mirror Cracked' gives the greatest first impression, firing on all cylinders as it opens up furiously. Here, the growls of Vurtox can also be heard, which generally do not amount to much, unfortunately. It is the clean vocals that dominate each track here however. The album is quite good and filled with great musical ideas. It comes close to even being a masterpiece, although this title is robbed due to a feeling that some of the ideas are less developed than they should have been. While the epics here are quite well composed and rarely feel boring, it does feel as if the album could have done without some of the fat on its bones.

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 Back To Times Of Splendor by DISILLUSION album cover Studio Album, 2004
4.20 | 147 ratings

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Back To Times Of Splendor
Disillusion Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Leviun

5 stars From the European Strongest country comes: the greatest album ever!

First of all, i read Prog-Archives warning about ratings but I really love this record. So everything I say about this I will be a suspect and you, the reader, may not want to take my word for it, but please listen to it.

The first song i hear from this album was the title track "Back To Times Of Splendor" and to this day it's still my facourite metal song ever! And that's saying something seen that I like a lot of genres inside Metal music. So, whe I heard this song it really grabbed me and I listened to it for a long long time until I got the full album and I fell in love by this band, just for them to let me down with "Gloria".

But anyway, "Back To Times Of Splendor" starts of with a bang whith the one of the most technical riffs in the whole album, the beginning of "And The Mirror Cracked" blows me away and it will surely blow you too. It ends on a progressive tune with "The Sleep Of Restless Hours", the 17min lenght song.

This album mixes the heaviest sound found in European Death Metal but it also brings to you the most melodic parts ever heard in Progressive Metal. Of course I'm a suspect because this album threw me against my ceiling and slowly brought me to the floor on angels wings. The drums are a major factor on the characteristic sound of this band alongside the techincal bass and the heavy recorded guitars and masterfully played.

You can expect a full album. This song just gives you a sound that many of you Melodic Death Progressive fans were looking for. Opeth or Enslaved fans will find here other band to worship (or at least other album). It joins here impressive progressive progressive elements and well placed melodic parts with very well played riffs, with the "brutalness" of Death Metal.

To sum:

It is a must have album! You must not miss this opportunity to hear a powerfull progressive metal masterpiece.

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 Back To Times Of Splendor by DISILLUSION album cover Studio Album, 2004
4.20 | 147 ratings

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Back To Times Of Splendor
Disillusion Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Bonnek
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

3 stars Disillusion hit the world with an exceptionally strong modern prog metal album, very eclectic in style and borrowing as much from classic 90's prog metal as from melodic progressive death metal and symphonic black metal.

In a way they sound like an upgraded version of Green Carnation, maintaining a similar epic vibe, but adding more adventurous and varied songwriting. Unlike many prog metal acts, Disillusion won't fish for your attention by daft or flashy musicianship but by their outstanding compositions, which remain dynamic, engaging and accessible for the entire 57 minute duration of the album. An exceptional achievement in a genre where albums usually wear themselves out before they're halfway through. It's quite the contrary here. The quality of the material even keeps getting better and better as the album goes along.

The band is categorised as Tech/Extreme but I wouldn't give too much weight to that. There are death metal elements but generally the music is very melodic, progressive and certainly not technical. To a certain extent you could compare the music to Opeth but there are a lot of elements that set them apart from the Swedes. The vocals for instance also vary inbetween death metal grunts and clean vocals, but the singing voice is more theatrical and anthemic then Opeth. It sits quite close to the melodic vocal moments of Borknagar and Dimmu Borgir. Also the keyboards add a decisive symphonic element. Luckily Disillusion avoids the melodic cheese and power metal clichés of much prog metal acts.

Highly recommended to fans of modern metal in the vein of Green Carnation, Opeth, Edge Of Sanity. At least 4 stars in one of my highest rated subs, Tech/Extreme.

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 Back To Times Of Splendor by DISILLUSION album cover Studio Album, 2004
4.20 | 147 ratings

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Back To Times Of Splendor
Disillusion Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Flucktrot
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Despite some rumors that Vurtox was a Klingon, it has been confirmed that he is indeed human, and not to mention the creative force behind a very compelling progressive metal album.

I'm not one to be easily swayed by progressive metal, especially the technical kind, but positive reviews spurred me to check Back to Times of Splendor out, and I do not regret it.

This is a big, heavy sound, but it never seems overly so, or cheesy in my opinion. The guitars have a slightly-out-of-tune quality that I have to believe is more a band trademark than any production limitation. The vocals are largely positive, especially the harmonies, even though I only appreciate harsh and growling vocals in moderation.

Cracked may be the highlight for me, as it covers a lot of musical territory in its relatively short duration, at least short in prog terminology. The epics, Splendour and Restless, are also highlights, the former with a memorable outtro, perhaps similar to Opeth's Deliverance (though probably not as mindblowing), and the latter with a great mellow buildup, but unfortunately also containing a cop-out false ending.

Overall, a quite solid metal album--I was generally surprised and taken aback by some of the power contained within. Despite all the positives, there are surprisingly some fairly simple songwriting techniques that Vurtox failed to acknowledged--or perhaps intentionally decided to stick it to the man--that could have bolstered this solid release even higher.

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 Gloria by DISILLUSION album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.84 | 51 ratings

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Gloria
Disillusion Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by msphelps

4 stars Thankfully, when I first listened to Gloria, I came in without the baggage of ever having listened to Back to Times of Splendor. Allow me a quick digression: Back to Times of Splendor was just such a perfect album that anyone having heard it first was probably a bit off-put by Gloria when it was released. I mean, the eclectic mix of sounds at work on this album is, at first glance, horrendous in comparison. And yet, listening to it with a clean slate, Gloria was a fantastic listen for me. Disillusion really know how to make an album interesting. Each track plays differently from the last and keeps your attention to hear what is coming up. Granted, there are a few failures in the mix--"Save the Past" is just a bit embarrassing, and "Avalanche" sounds like it should be better than it is. But those few missteps are more than made up for with the number of fine listens and the diverse range of genres they draw from on this album. "The Black Sea" brilliantly fuses their former death metal sound with the industrial influences prevalent on Gloria. "Too Many Broken Cease Fires," my favourite track here, has elements reminiscent of post-metal. The title track even has trace influences from dance music. This album is excellent, and a welcome addition to any collection.

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 Back To Times Of Splendor by DISILLUSION album cover Studio Album, 2004
4.20 | 147 ratings

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Back To Times Of Splendor
Disillusion Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by petrica

4 stars One of the best albums I've heard recently is this release of the german progressive metal band Disillusion. They released a few demos and EP's before this but with Back To Times Of Splendor they really had a fantastic start.

The first song and the mirror cracked is simply amazing. Powerful/heavy start with a mellow guitar driven part in the middle and the same powerful/heavy part in the end. One of the best start-up songs I've heard. After this amazing start up we have two shorter songs(Fall and Alone I stand in fire) which are maybe not that good as the first song. Powerful and well played songs but without anything special. Back to the time of splendor is the fourth song and the title of this song was used for the name of album. It starts with a relaxed violin driven part then it goes a few minutes with very heavy and sometime extreme sections. Then we have again a mellow part(somehow the same structure as the first song) and in the end heavy sections. The fifth song is simply my favorite on this release. It follows somehow the soft passage of the first and fourth songs. Probably this song will be enjoyed by most of the classic prog rock lovers. The last song is the longest song from this album with a very nice intro and somehow similar with And the Mirror Cracked and Back to Times of Splendor.

I would say that all the long songs have the same structure and compositional approach. This album contains some very inspired moments which is an important ingredient for making it a favorite one beside the general good feeling after a few spins already. What we have here is not a masterpiece but a very good prog metal album with extreme influences but not so powerful to consider this release in the tech/extreme prog metal sub-genre. Fans of progressive metal will be probably delighted and that's why I recommend this. But fans of other related genres may check this because it has very good songs. I always liked metal bands from Germany(Helloween, Edguy etc) and Disillusion prove me again that I have a special affinity for the bands coming from this country.

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 Back To Times Of Splendor by DISILLUSION album cover Studio Album, 2004
4.20 | 147 ratings

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Back To Times Of Splendor
Disillusion Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by The Pessimist
Prog Reviewer

5 stars No one knows where this band came from, or much about their history, but after three mediocre demo efforts, they emerge with this utter masterpiece of progressive metal. This is an example of what good prog metal sounds like, and fortunately it is consistent throughout the album. This album is special for a number of reasons. First off, the voicing and density of all the instruments is like none I've ever heard before. It is so thick in texture, yet you can hear every single instrument in action. Secondly, Back To Times Of Splendour features three separate vocal styles: a not-quite-growling growl style that is a kind of hybrid of Jens Kidman and Gojira's Joe Duplantier, a rich and theatrical vocal style that reminds me of System of the Down's Serj Tankian and finally a clean vocal style which is nothing really special, but provides enough melody for the vocal harmony sections. Finally, the other reason that this album is so special is because it is probably the most aggressive album I've heard in a long time whilst still being one of the most beautiful metal albums ever written. That is very hard to achieve, and not many bands pull it off nowadays. The only band I can think of off hand that has done it recently is the mighty Opeth, and for me to compare Disillusion to this great band is a massive achievement on their part.

Now onto the songs.

And The Mirror Cracked - My personal favourite off the album, this one is simply perfect. It kicks off with a bang and provides one of the best intros in prog metal. I could literally listen to the choppy guitar harmony section all day long and not get remotely bored. We are then introduced to a number of different phases, including all three vocal styles (including vocal harmony sections) and a 2-3 minute mellow section. This song follows ternary form structure, but doesn't in any way seem repetitive. That is probably because it is so good. I'd love to go on about this song, but unfortunately my ranting will only spoil the experience. 10/10

Fall - Another strong track, if you like short songs. This is the most commercial song on the album, as it contains no growling and contains no prog metal pretentiousness like the previous track. A straightforward progressive metal song that is a small pleasure to listen to. 8/10

Alone I Stand In Fires - Another shorter track, Alone I Stand In Fires is another gem. The thickest textured song so far this song does take longer to kick in than the previous two, but later on it packs just as much punch (maybe even more?). There is a lot of growling here, so don't approach this with the same mentality of Fall. This is a seemingly long and heavy ride, but pays off in the end. An epic in a small package. 9/10

Back To Times Of Splendour - Cited by many as the best track off the album, I don't see it as that. It is no way on par with the first track and I prefer the previous. However, this is phenomenal all the same. We have two killer riffs within this long song, a neo-classical intro and a great chorus and mellow middle section. We are taken off on a journey, and it is for me the only one on the album that does. It isn't perfect though. It has its faults: for example, I normally skip to the quiet section from about 6:10, as the area in between is just a mess. An attempt to build up intensity that kind of... well fails. Other than that, it is a great tune. 8/10

A Day By The Lake - The most progressive song on the album, this is the one that classic prog lovers will enjoy (if they see past the heavy texture in some parts). A slow build up takes you through a slightly post-metal musical adventure and like post-metal, it is quite dreamy and calm. The second masterpiece on the album, this one is special. Melodic, beautiful and at the same time fractionally brutal in places, this ticks every box for me. Yet it is so short, but since when has that been a bad thing? 10/10

The Sleep Of Restless Hours - The second epic, I do like this song. In a way I prefer it to the title track, as it is heavier with more great riffs. The intro is fantastic, I love acoustic guitar passages in metal and this particular passage is excellent. Overall though, this song is a weird one. It doesn't seem to go anywhere, and the length is also a problem for me. I've always really had a problem with prog metal songs over 15 minutes, but then again, this one does remain quite interesting, as with other exceptions like Meshuggah's I. Some masterpiece material here leads me to rate this no lower than 9/10, and I don't feel guilty rating it that as it just contains some of my pet musical hates. Most prog metallers will be stunned by this tune, so that's the mark it gets.

Well this album only lost 6 marks for me, which means it's a 4.5/5. Round that up and you get a masterpiece, no doubt about. This album definitely deserves its place in the best albums of the genre, and I will enforce that even further. Some really original stuff here, and the majority of progressive metal fans will find a lot in Back In Times Of Splendour.

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 Back To Times Of Splendor by DISILLUSION album cover Studio Album, 2004
4.20 | 147 ratings

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Back To Times Of Splendor
Disillusion Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Wow, is all this metal loving fan can say after listening to Back to the Times of Splendor-- even after the 10th time. This is one album whose aggressive playing, creative writing, and peerless production is stands out masterfully, especially considering that this is a debut!

In general, this album is packed with everything one hopes for in the genre. The 3 principle musicians put out a massive amount of sound, exceptionally proficient and genuinely exciting to listen to. Their songwriting is top notch, featuring clear and smart use of dynamics coupled with explosive intensity. Songs typically feature fast, heavy, aggressive melodies with valleys of soft passages and gentle vocals. A good example of this is in the opener, which begins with an enjoyable series of riffs and heavy hooks then dips suddenly into a dreamy atmosphere-- sounding very much like recent Anathema (briefly). The lengthy songs are, without exception, memorable and dramatic, not to mention brilliantly produced. There are deep layers of sound to explore here; excellent stuff!

Bartel's guitar playing is frenetic; his riffing positively burns, but even more enjoyable is his dexterous melodies, which are so powerful and substantial to the song's presence-- it's amazing that he can sustain them. He has a memorable sound which sets him apart from others in the genre. The other players do not disappoint either. Maluchska's drums explode with smart complexity-- he never over does it, but when he lays it on it sounds like the world is coming to an end!

Vocals deserve special mention as well. Vurtox's voice is stellar in its variety and energy. Typically, its an aggressive, melodic growl-- close to his singing voice but gravelly and hostile sounding... and very good. His clean vocals (present throughout) are just well done, lending a welcomed change of sound to the band's heavy veneer. His choruses are very memorable and catchy, to the point of demanding the need to sing-along to... if one can keep up.

Highly recommended to all metal fans!

Songwriting: 5 Instrumental Performances: 4 Lyrics/Vocals: 4 Style/Emotion/Replay: 4

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 Back To Times Of Splendor by DISILLUSION album cover Studio Album, 2004
4.20 | 147 ratings

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Back To Times Of Splendor
Disillusion Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by horsewithteeth11
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Who are these guys, how did they come out of nowhere, and, more importantly, how did they make such a fantastic album?

Those are some of the thoughts that were rushing through my mind the first time I listened to this. Then later that day I listened to it again. Then I listened to it yet again. All in all, I listened to this album 3 times the day I got it. It's not really good based on technical playing, but rather the enormous layers one has to dig through to fully appreciate what is going on. And trust me; there are a lot of deep layers in this music. In describing it, I'd say that it's in the veins of melodic/progressive death metal, but with a more mature style of songwriting than your average melodic death metal band (think Opeth type of maturity). Combine that with many, many layers of music and the walls of sound (the good kind) from a band like The Mars Volta and you're starting to get an idea for what Disillusion sounds like on this album. It's taken me about half a dozen listens to even begin to fully grasp how deep I can sink myself in this album. Saying that this is multilayered music might be an understatement. Every time you listen to this, you're guaranteed to pick up several things in each song that you didn't notice the previous listen.

Unlike many other bands found in this genre on PA, Disillusion is more than willing to write a few extended songs. In fact, 2 of the 6 songs on here are of epic lengths, one around 14 1/2 minutes and the other clocks in at just over 17 minutes. Both of those songs, the title track and The Sleep of Restless Hours, are standout tracks for me. Both have great intros that really build the songs up nicely, the big difference being that the title track opens with violin and the concluding track opens with fairly dark fretless bass. Alone I Stand in Fires is the other standout track for me, and probably the overall heaviest on here, if for the massive amounts of sound thrown at you than for anything else. Vurtox (a pretty interesting nickname) has a very unique voice, balanced with a mix of clean vocals, which are more unique than his death growls. But he pulls both off very well.

I have yet to hear the band's follow-up because of the skepticism I've heard about it. Or maybe it's because I can't stop listening to this album. If you like Opeth, The Mars Volta, or want to hear a very unique and (slightly) more accessible album from this genre, this is a good one to try out. I'm hoping that their third release is as good as this one. This definitely deserves 5 stars for its creativity.

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