Back To Times Of Splendor review by Disillusion

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  • Released: Apr 6, 2004
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 10 (2 votes)
Disillusion: Back To Times Of Splendor

Sound — 9
Disillusion is a fairly new progressive metal band from Germany. They have a variety of influences so I will just keep it simple and say progressive metal, but I'd say they do have some strong melodic death/atmospheric/folk/avant-garde metal influences. Listen to the band and decide for yourself what you want to call them, I'm not about to start a genre war. I discovered Disillusion while randomly looking around on YouTube one day. They showed up under the recommended for you section. Being bored I took a listen and discovered one of the most impressive songs I have heard in a long time. The song was the title track, which clocked in at close to 15 minutes in length and felt like more like a journey than a metal song. I realize that sounds cornybut I do not care because it's quite true, give this CD a listen through and you will see what I mean. The CD lasts just under an hour, which is impressive when you consider its only six songs. Generally the songs are written in Drop C tuning (I think) so the overall sound is pretty heavy, however the band does not overdo it and there are numerous acoustic and avant-garde sections. In the one hour of music you will hear acoustic sections, blazing death influenced riffs, avant-garde /ambient arrangements, aggressive growling vocals, operatic clean vocals and so much more in this complex work of metal. The production is done pretty well and everything seems to come together well, there is a lot going on in some sections of the songs and the listener can sometimes feel overwhelmed, but overall the sound is pretty spot on. I have very few complaints here.

Lyrics — 10
The lead singer and songwriter Andy Schmidt (also known as Vurtox? Apparently?), has a fairly impressive vocal range that matches well with the music, when he sings the more aggressive parts he is able to teeter between a melodic death metal style of vocals and more accessible clean vocals. This technique of singing fits surprisingly well with the more aggressive distorted sections of the compositions. He is able to pull off near operatic vocals during some of the acoustic/orchestral sections. His accent shines through in his singing, but rather than be annoying it actually blends in and adds to the mood of the album and the story being told. Speaking of mood, Schmidt does an amazing job of matching his vocal style with the music; in the faster more chaotic sections his voice seems to take on a paranoid persona, while on the slower sections he is able to completely soothe his voice into an impressive clean tone. Or if he chooses to he can unleash some impressive death vocals such as the chorus of Alone I stand in Fire, where Schmidt's various vocals styles are showcased. The lyrics are exceptionally well done, in my opinion, and many of the lyrics come off as sounding almost like an Edgar Allen Poe poem. The album is a concept album and tells a story of drama and human emotion, rather than about futuristic dystopian societies, or serial killers biography both of which seem to be a popular topic for most metal concept albums. The philosophical and cryptic lyrics along with the impressive singing in my opinion are certainly a high point for this album. Of course, one man's treasure is another man's trash so I am sure that there will of course be those who find his voice agitating, however I as I said give the *entire* CD a listen to, because his vocals along with the music vary throughout the album.

Overall Impression — 10
My overall impression is that this is one of the best, start to finish, metal albums I have heard in a while. With only 6 songs there is no real room for filler and you end up with 6 excellently executed songs throughout. I love how much the band was willing to experiment, they sound like a band that does not care about popularity or radio play but wanted to put out their best possible work both for themselves and their fans. Right from the aggressive ( and fairly technical) distorted riff on the beginning of And the Mirror Cracked to the rather soothing ambient ending to The Sleep of Restless Hours the listener is drawn into a journey following a dizzying display of musical prowess and enigmatic lyrics. If this cd was somehow stolen I would buy it again, after all its only 5.99(USD) to download it on Amazon. Just give the cd a listen to, if you choose to not follow the whole cd start to finish then at least check out the epic title track, Back to Times of Splendor or the powerful and aggressive, Alone I Stand in Fire. It's hard to pinpoint the most outstanding songs when they are only six songs total, however I guess those two songs will give you a good feel for the rest of the cd. This is a very impressive album by Disillusion, it's a shame they chose to go to a simpler industrial style sound for their next release, Gloria. I have heard rumors they are planning to release a new cd sometime this year, I hope they can return to this experimental sound on their new cd. Hopefully they candare I sayreturn to times of splendor on their new release.

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Disillusion is a fairly new progressive metal band
    Mmmmnot really. But still, cracking band, known them for a while. Newer stuff is more interesting though..
    EpiExplorer wrote: Disillusion is a fairly new progressive metal band Mmmmnot really. But still, cracking band, known them for a while. Newer stuff is more interesting though..
    EpiExplorer wrote: Disillusion is a fairly new progressive metal band Mmmmnot really. But still, cracking band, known them for a while. Newer stuff is more interesting though..
    oops double post...anyways...I wrote this review over a year ago and forgot to put it up so at the time they were only about 5 years old