Words: Paul Macfarlan
I think it’s about time there was an investigation into what’s being put into the water supply here in Perth. Over the past few years this city has churned out some phenomenal heavy bands. Bands that have paved the way for the next generation. Illyria are one of those bands. Having started back in 2016 they have been gaining traction within the Perth music scene. What’s been dropped in front of me is 11 tracks of beautifully crafted post black metal.
Now going into this, I must admit I was a little bit ignorant. I’ve seen them live and seen the name but never paid full attention to them.
Opening track Resurgence is an incredible way to launch into an album. It’s progressive, it’s got elements of traditional black metal and even a few mathy elements that I really digged, it has a bit of clean vocals and this ridiculously infectious bass groove. It’s a song I’ve kept going back to. Wilderness, straight away Illyria are genre bending again. This band is a whirlwind of styles and it’s held together so effortlessly. Autumn Fades Away is magnificent.
Echoflower part 1 is a nice little interlude with some delightfully haunting chanting going on. Echoflower part 2 feels like it could go well mixed in with drummer Matt’s other band Statues. Some very heartfelt emotionally screamed vocals and a very post-hardcore almost punk rock feel about this. I am digging it a lot. Out of nowhere the rule book just got thrown at me. The song totally turns on itself and we’ve got a cool jazzy progressive piece.
Second Day of Spring opens and instantly reminds me of early Poison The Well. It’s mellow, soothing and quite blissful. One of the main things Illyria are proving to be leading the way with is creating atmospheres within their work. Everyone interprets music differently and the mental atmosphere they paint with this track for me is one of memories and happiness and I love that about this. This is the stand out track for me. It’s just so elegantly written and no instrument overloads the listener. There’s something about Swansong and I can’t put my finger on it. It could very well be the distorted guitars, Ilija’s vocals or something totally different. Whatever it may be this track is superb.
The Carpathian Summit reminded me a bit of The Drapery Falls by Opeth. That song in itself is a rollercoaster of a ride and if I’m honest The Carpathian Summit holds its own. Illija’s vocals take on a totally ethereal tone with an almost Gregorian monk vibe in parts. I feel as though with this song these guys have created a masterpiece and I don’t want to lay the sophomore curse on them, but this track is utterly perfect. It’s a nearly 14-minute masterpiece that words really cannot do justice.
All in all, “The Carpathian Summit” is remarkable for a band so young, they are all talented beyond their years. My only gripe with it would be the production at times just seems a little bit tinny. However, I think that also makes this recording so well done. It’s rough, ragged yet so beautifully done. I would honestly recommend “The Carpathian Summit” to anybody that appreciates music in all its genres and forms. I think anybody could take something away from this album.
You can grab your own copy of the album direct from Illyria’s bandcamp HERE.