Illusions Parade

Written by: PP on 21/12/2009 16:55:33

Sweden's Nostradameus are power metal with capital P, though like a couple of other bands I've reviewed recently in the genre, they, too, are quite a bit better than the majority of the playing field. Maybe it's because they play straight up power metal where the focus is on the melodies instead of just trying to amass as big of a soundscape as possible using vibrato and artificial inflation? There's a pattern to be found here, actually, because whenever power metal bands combine the genre with heavy metal, the result is almost always generic and one you've heard all too many times. Luckily Nostradameus have chosen not to take this path on their sixth album "Illusions Parade", and the result is a solid power metal album packed with good melodies in the vein of Hammerfall.

If, by any chance, you should be familiar with the band's previous album "Pathway", you'll immediately notice that all the metalcore elements that I talked about in my review are now gone. Vocalist Freddy Persson also sounds like a completely different singer, a vastly improved one I might add. The overall change is for the better, though, best seen on the straight up power metal track "Nothing". The verse vocal dynamic is probably the best to be found on this record, as it'll glue itself to your head without much effort. "The Art Of Deception" is a balls-to-the-walls melodic track and another highlight on the record because of its great chorus that brings to mind the likes of Helloween and Gamma Ray, two bands which, dear reader, are so ridiculously much better than the rest of power metal it's not even funny. "Eclipse Ov The Suncult" is the third highlight in the trio of songs that define "Illusions Parade". It's a bit slower than the rest, but the solid riffing and good use of catchy melody in the chorus lift it above the rest on the album.

But those three tracks are about it for "Illusions Parade". You could argue that "Walk On Pain" and the overly aggressive "Armageddon Forever" are decent tracks as well, but 'decent' is where it stops for these guys and the rest of the album as well. With three excellent tracks out of nine you can hardly call the album great, but since the others aren't bad either, I'll settle with a decent grade.

Download: The Art Of Deception, Nothing
For the fans of: Helloween, Hammerfall, Edguy, Gamma Ray
Listen: Myspace

Release date 20.11.2009
AFM Records

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