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Iluvatar - Children CD (album) cover





3.70 | 128 ratings

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4 stars A very good melodic Neo-Prog album from this american band. Admittedly it did not bring anything new, but then Neo is quite by definition a "regressive within the progressive" sub- genre, isn't it?

Take the style of Genesis' And Then There Were Three / Duke period, combine it with melodic Neo such as Jadis and some other typical cliches from Marillion Fugazi period or IQ and you get a pretty good idea of what this album offers: nothing new but they still somehow manage to create their own sound, and it sounds really good provided that you are keen on this style of music.

The keyboards of Jim Rezek dominate the soundscape, with good guitar interplays by Dennis Mullin. The bass is quite good as well and the drums while not being particularly outstanding do their job nicely enough. The vocals of Glenn McLaughlin sound as a hybrid between Phil Collins, Fish and Gabriel, in other words they fit perfectly with the music style, although his singing is sometimes a bit too nasal for my taste.

The quality of the songs is very consistent, all of them really good and they provide a good dynamic flow alternating a sufficient range of different moods and tempos. Even if it stays fairly melodic all throughout, it does not lack harder energic moments. The strongest tracks are the opener "Haze", the wonderful mellow "Given Away", "Late of Conscience", "Eye Next to Glass" / "Your Darkest Hour" (the former of which I tend to consider as the intro to the latter) and the 12 minute long "The Final Stoke". In other words, practically the whole album is really strong, and the other 2 tracks "In Our Lives" and "Cracker" are not bad at all either, just a bit weaker according to me.

The production is fairly good and as a plus the Dali-esque cover is great.

For sure purist die-hard proggers seeking innovation, experimentation or dissonance must stay away from this album as from the plague, but if you are receptive to melodic Neo this is a very enjoyable record.

Gerinski | 4/5 |


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