Wheels of Resurrection
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Euphoric Grooves! Punching Rhythms! Utter Desolation! These are the hallmarks of Classic Heavy Metal!!
Illuuminus pack all of this and much more into their ground-breaking debut, Wheels of Resurrection. They go out of their way to celebrate all that we love and admire about the metal genre – whether crunching, slicing guitars, blues-infused rhythmic interludes, or haunting moments of low-end mellow diversions and sojourns. It’s all right here.
More ambitiously, Wheels of Resurrection attempts to conquer that curious and slightly obscure sub-genre known as progressive (or ‘prog’) metal. You may be cautious when I say it succeeds in spades. However I assure you, on this occasion, you can safely throw your cautionary cautions to the wind. The Illuum has arrived!
In fact, the album has a cogency and confidence in its five extended-play tracks not heard anywhere from anyone for many a long year. If you are searching for a new Holy Heavy Metal Grail, then look no further. If you are a die-hard fan of music cut from metal, and finding yourself disillusioned with the current crop of pedestrian pretenders, then be disillusioned no more. Because you are going to be absolutely blown away:
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Illuuminus formed and blossomed in 2006 at the behest of guitarist and chief songwriter, Mark Halliwell. Mark quickly enlisted the services of accomplished rhythm and lead guitarist, Darren Ely, and together they set out to realise a vision to write and record a progressive metal album transcending the limits of the genre. If heavy metal was the Bible, then this was to be the Book of Revelation. The apocalypse was nigh, and Mark and Darren were determined to bring it forward for everyone’s entertainment and amusement.
Proceedings continued into 2007 under the careful stewardship of Mark and Darren. Heidi Gass was invited to collaborate, and duly contributed electric piano and synthesizer and later some inspired harmony vocals. As the writing and recording trundled along, the expansive aspirations of the songs became apparent as keys, guitars and rhythms all began to lock into place.
In 2009, the focus shifted from Warrnambool to Melbourne, where the band hired the extraordinary Melbourne progressive drummer, Daniel Luttick, to record the drum tracks at Wick Studios, Brunswick.
About this time, still without a vocalist, Illuuminus recruited Steven Garner of the Chosen Few to fulfill mic duties. The decision to bring Steven onto the scene turned out to be a stroke of small genius. With an ability to veer from a soulful gravel roar to soaring highs in an instant, his versatile voice proved to be a good match for the epic music that was unfolding around him.
Further recording at Mark’s Zala Studios in Warrnambool was followed by a stunning mix of the record by legendary American producer and sound engineer, Ron Saint Germain, at the aptly-named ‘Saint’s Place Studio’ in New Jersey, U.S.A.
Finally, the product was in. Wrap parties were held. Irresponsible quantities of booze and chemicals were consumed! A long metal odyssey was now at an end, Illuuminus had achieved a milestone, and all that remained was the towering thunder of the Wheels of Resurrection!