Another Side Of You
Review by Maverick on February 3, 2024.
I must say, I am not the biggest fan of symphonic or melodic metal. I like my metal, dirty-sounding, rough, and in-your-face. Balance is always necessary of course, and I’m always open to expand my horizons when it comes to music. This is exactly what I did when I picked this album up. It’s interesting, it is like a frenzy of groove and prog metal riffing intertwined with beautiful clean vocals. The percussion is on point, and tight.
First, the riffs are decent. It’s like Pantera and Dream Theatre having a baby. This makes it kind of weird, I’m not a maestro when it comes to “modern metal” that isn’t extreme. That’s just a fact, but I do commend bands that don’t sound like dreadful Spiritbox or Deftones clones. This band surpasses those mallcore names of course. There does seem to be a good deal of sludgy djent riffing in here, that mixes with the more progressive and groove-oriented riffs. The synergy between the drums and strings is pretty dope. I mean, I can’t believe this works so well. Yes, I did mention djent. I feel like djent has been given somewhat of a bad name, only because the only bands that people tend to think about tend to be Veil Of Maya or Born Of Osiris. They often forget that the sound is much broader than that, and Illumishade’s ability to mix this brilliant solos and epically timed drumming makes this one of a kind. I obviously need to speak about the versatility dynamic of the release: Yes, as I have mentioned before, this album moves from djent, groove, and at times it’s progressive. This is true, but whether it’s the dynamic of modern metal these days or not, they even have power metal elements blasting throughout. This is cool, since this works well with the synth throughout it. 'In The Darkness' for example, sounded like a power metal track with djenty overtones; solid and consistent. No bullshit.
Second, the usage of synth is done well. It has a very post-industrial feel. It does not overpower anything; it introduces tracks well and permeates the work without masking any of the sounds here. The genre-bending dynamic that the synth brings is cool. At times it feels like a simple industrial/electronic kind of gimmick, and then it moves into the realm of progressive/power metal dynamics. Now, that is quite rad. I mean, how the heck did that happen? Don’t let me deceive you, this is not overpowering in its delivery as I mentioned before. 'Cloudreader' for example sounds like a deep house track, that eventually moves into a djenty-groove type riffing; which was introduced by a tasteful synth piece.
Third, I need to elaborate on this “Wow!” factor here. I have never heard a melodic metal band like this that does not seem to rely on orchestral synth. One would expect to find this album to be some kind of cliché pop-metal remix, but that is simply far from the truth. It’s a masterpiece, with chuggy metal riffing and brilliant vocals. I think this album is definitely something worth listening to. If you want something new that isn’t too heavy but hits the craving without it being uninteresting. I recommend this.
Rating: 8.9 out of 10229