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 Chiodos - Illuminaudio [Album Review]

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PostSubject: Chiodos - Illuminaudio [Album Review]   Sun Feb 05, 2012 3:37 am

Illuminaudio by Chiodos


Reviewed by ZXoftheDarkness on July 25th 2011
Reposted on February 4th 2012

Album Artwork:
Genre - Metal / Post - Hardcore / Classical

Music Staff:


Chiodos
Bradley Bell – keyboards, piano, synthesizers, programming
Brandon Bolmer – lead vocals
Matt Goddard – bass guitar
Jason Hale – lead guitar
Pat McManaman – rhythm guitar
Tanner Wayne – drums, percussion

Guest musicians
Vic Fuentes – additional vocals on track 3

Production
Produced and mixed by Machine
Engineered by Will Putney and Jeremy Comitas
Mastered by Scott Hull
Additional programming and sound design by Christopher «Notes» Olsen
Editing and pro-tools by Bill Purcell and Jay Sayong
A&R by D. Sandshaw
Artwork by Kyle Crawford
Photography by Tim Harmon

Introduction: A well crafted work of art, complete with piano fueled ballads, vocals that will tear at you (but are melodic and soothing at the same time). This band went through a bit of a line up change, including a change in the lead singer, the previous singer had a profound man-boner for himself, as this was the case, the rest of the album was drowned out in his painfully dull vocals. With this new album, they brought in a new vocalist, which did NOT have a man boner for himself, as such, the rest of the band was able to shine. Musically, this album is unique, and a breath of fresh air in an otherwise stale genre. Let's jump into a track by track review.

Song Titles:

No.TitleLength
1."Illuminaudio" 1:45
2."Caves" 3:40
3."Love Is a Cat from Hell" (featuring Vic Fuentes of Pierce the Veil)4:16
4."Modern Wolf Hair" 3:49
5."Notes in Constellations" 4:22
6."Scaremonger" 4:09
7."His Story Repeats Itself" 3:53
8."Let Us Burn One" 3:57
9."Hey Zeus! The Dungeon" 4:24
10."Stratovolcano Mouth" 4:22
11."Those Who Slay Together, Stay Together" 5:05
12."Closed Eyes Still Look Forward" 3:28

Track 1: Illuminaudio:
A small introduction showcasing the new vocals, very eerie sounding, however not that unique.
Track Rating: 7.3/10 (Good)

Track 2: Caves:
A rather intuitive song, starts off with a drum intro with some "do do do do"'s and some "la da da da"'s in the beginning, and instantly kicks into a strong intense melody that is reminiscent of thrash metal, with some very intense screams and cleans working their way through your ear lobes right after the chorus. It's a pretty damn good song.
Track Rating: 9.0/10 (Amazing)

Track 3: Love Is A Cat From Hell:
Great choice in a guest vocalist, and they didn't feature him mainly on vocals, which to be honest I didn't like, I felt like Vic should have had more of a presence in this song instead of just background chanting and screaming. However the dueling vocal harmonies between Brandon and Vic were very nice, also what stood out in this song were the guitars, which seemed as if they were intertwined with Brandon and Vic's vocals, the drums were great as well, but not quite as noticeable, pretty solid song.
Track Rating: 8.4/10 (Very Good)

Track 4: Modern Wolf Hair:
While I liked the variation of instrumentals in this track, I feel that this song was rather annoying. The intro with the violins and the drum roll was beautiful, but it was ruined by the scratchy chorus vocals. However what really turned me off this song was the chorus and the breakdown around a minute before the ending, I simply couldn't stand it. Steer clear of this song in my opinion.
Track Rating: 5.7/10 (Average)

Track 5: Notes in Constellations:
A softer song in comparison to the rest of the album, starts off with a slow opening and quickly transcends into an uplifting melodic beat. However, this beat seems lacking, and the vocals occasionally break, however, the piano interludes and the speedy solos save this song from being completely horrible.
Track Rating: 7.2/10 (Good)

Track 6: Scaremonger:
One of the most interesting introductions and closings that I have heard in a song of this genre. This is definitely a blood pumper, heavy guitar riffs for the introduction, it then descends into a spiraling combination of screaming vocals and machine gun speed drums, the song occasionally parodies itself unintentionally. All in All, a good track, not the best but still pretty good.
Track Rating: 7.6/10 (Good)

Track 7: His Story Repeats Itself:
Didn't enjoy this song, another generic song, i'll pass.
Track Rating: 5.2/10 (Average)

Track 8: Let Us Burn Once:
Rather interesting actually, they seemed to use a style in this song similar to that of the guitar style in Pierce the Veil's song "Caraphernelia" (Since the singer of Pierce the Veil featured in Track 3, it only makes sense that some inspiration was put in somewhere in the album and not just in that one track. This track is another one of the stand out tracks on the album, with particular praise going towards the guitars, which had a strange atmospheric quality to them, the background piano was also a nice touch, the much needed heavy breakdown towards the end of the song was a well welcomed addition, another great song worth checking out.
Track Rating: 9.3/10 (Amazing)

Track 9: Hey Zeus! The Dungeon:
Almost the same as "His Story Repeat's Itself", generic and boring, although I had to say, the guitars and screams were unique and different, however not enough to save the song.
Track Rating: 6.1/10 (Above Average)

Track 10: Stratovolcano Mouth:
The intro annoyed me, as I hate the use of Autotune, however, the violin fueled melodies combined with a grand atmosphere, powerful vocals and a unique lyrical premise makes this song stand out from the rest as well. Recommended.
Track Rating: 8.3/10 (Very Good)

Track 11: Those Who Slay Together, Stay Together:
Beautiful is all I have to say about this song is that it's absolutely beautiful. It opens up with a small piano ballad, then instantly kicks into descending guitars fueled by piano breakdown after piano breakdown. The lovely grazing keys of the piano are increasingly abundant as you get deeper into the song, and the vocals are in perfect harmony with the instrumentals. This song has plenty of unique sections, including rampant guitar solos, drum solos, piano solos, even vocal solos as well. This song has everything you would look forward to in a song. What was even more moving about this song, was the thrash like screams during the breakdowns near the end of the song. The quality of this song compared to the rest of the album is ridiculous. This song has jumped up to my Top 10 songs list, and most likely will stay there for quite a while, if you had to pick one song off the album, pick this one. Bravo Chiodos, Bravo.
Track Rating: 9.8/10 (Absolutely Amazing)

Track 12: Closed Eyes Still Look Forward:
Another slow song, with piano's and surprisingly bells, an instrument not commonly found in Post-Hardcore, Metal or any other similar genre. A nice slow song with a beat later into the song. Piano's are abundant everywhere and it's absolutely lovely. Violin's are also used in combination with the piano. However, even better is somewhat near the end of the song, a beautiful streak of piano ensues for around 30 seconds, a very relaxing closer, and it sets this song apart greatly.
Track Rating: 9.4/10 (Amazing)

Overall Album Rating:
7.775 (Good)

Final Words:
The use of classical instruments, most notably the piano and other rarely used instruments really set this album apart in a genre normally full of the same copy paste dribble drabble.

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