Illuminaudio review by Chiodos

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Released: Oct 5, 2010
  • Sound: 5
  • Lyrics: 3
  • Overall Impression: 5
  • Reviewer's score: 4.3 Poor
  • Users' score: 7.9 (69 votes)
Chiodos: Illuminaudio

Sound — 5
Being their first album following the departure of vocalist Craig Owens, I was excited to see what the rest of the band, along with Brandon Bolmer created for Illuminaudio. For me, it's a bittersweet album. Partly because of the lack of Owens's signature style which I had always associated with the band and also due to what I see as a lack of interesting catchy hooks. This album is devoid of simpler songs with a more pop-punk feel that work to blend the album better and give it a better sound overall. Bolemer's voice is not bad, in fact he's a good singer, but he doesn't interest me very much. In fact, my favorite parts vocally were the parts in 'Love Is a Cat From Hell' that feature Vic Fuentes of Pierce The Veil. Bolmer's voice just doesn't do it for me, I think he may be trying to hard to emulate Owens but he needs to change it up and find a way to make his voice stick. Musically wise, Chiodos seems for the most part the same but I don't feel the same emotion behind the licks and riffs of Pat McManaman and Jason Hale or the bass parts of Matt Goddard which used to be an integral part of many Chiodos songs and at many points Bradley Bell's piano parts seem amateurish and boring. It may just be the production though, because I have difficulty hearing a lot of the individual parts. A lot of the focus is put on Bolmer's vocals, which as I mentioned earlier do not intrigue me. Perhaps the album will grow on me but I don't feel it could compare to their earlier work.Better luck next time around, Chiodos.

Lyrics — 3
The lyrics seem fake and bland compared to Owens's words. How can you even compare "Attention all of my worst critics, who were once best of friends, you're all just crows on the power lines" from 'I Didn't Say I Was Powerful, I Said I Was a Wizard' off Bone Palace Ballet to "Here we are, we knew this day would come, those who slay together, stay together in the end" from of 'Those Who Slay Together, Stay Together' off Illuminaudio? Owen's lyrics seem more real and deep than Bolmer's. He also seems to sing it with more passion. Bolmer does have some stronger points on the album but nothing he writes seems to have too much substance. Let me just say, there's nothing on Illuminaudio I would have tattooed on me.

Overall Impression — 5
Illuminaudio may not compare to other Chiodos albums but it still ranks high above the average Post-Hardcore band. My favorite song off the album is "Love Is a Cat From Hell' ft Vic Fuentes of Pierce The Veil (an amazing band). 'Hey Zeus! The Dungeon' was another enjoyable one. Chiodos still shows potential, they just need to find a new sound to match their new voice.

4 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I have to agree with Tyrogue (two above). Chiodos has always been an interest of mine and I keep giving them re-listens, but they always seem to fall short of groups like Circa Survive and Closure in Moscow. And to tell the truth, Craig's had a role in turning me off, as well. He was badass live, but I can't see him live every time I want to hear his work. This album is a glorious breath of fresh air. "Notes in Constellations" does a great job of putting them up on the level of the big-league post-hardcore contributors. "Scaremongers" and "Closed Eyes Still Look Forward" are pretty refreshing, as well. These are probably the most divergent from Chiodos' previous work, but they're coincidentally the ones I find myself enjoying the most.
    As much as I like this album if I was either of the guitarists I would be a bit peeved that the guitars often get lost in the background
    ...What? I'm sorry, I've always liked Chiodos, All's Well was a decent album...Bone Pallace was actually very cool in terms of instrumental use...But, to even try saying Craig has a better voice than Brandon - as a matter of fact - is awfully fanboyish, don't ya think? Craig fits perfectly in with the newer group of Post-Hardcore vocalists, high-pitched, whiny, and very very poppy. I really want to like him, but he's just got something that always turned me off. I picked this album up a few weeks ago and never really bothered to listen to it. I just ripped it onto my PC and WOW! Brandon's voice is much more powerful and commanding than Craig's ever was. I love it. It lacks Craig's pop zing and is a little over-produced for my liking, but it still sounds 10x better. Sick stuff, I can totally dig these guys now, and not feel bad about it. Looking forward to a more experimental second effort. Note: I'm not saying it as a matter of fact, I'm saying it as a matter of opinion. I think it's silly that Craig is "iconic" after only releasing a few albums. Lots of people can wail at that pitch for hours on end, most just don't bother.