Review: Illum Adora – Son of Dawn
Written by The Black Metal Bitch
Illum Adora, a relatively new band, is a three-piece outfit hailing from the Rhineland in Germany. Despite being an active group since 2011 the band finally released their very first demo “Begotten,” late last year with a follow up demo this past spring entitled, “Unchained from Slavery,” which makes this EP, “Son of Dawn,” the band’s first real release and I’m pleased to say it’s good stuff. While there isn’t anything groundbreaking about their latest work, it’s definitely progress for the group. There’s a heavy emphasis on the guitar, a lot of one string strumming, the standard black metal blast beats and of course that demonic, soul piercing vocal style that black metal fans can’t get enough of.
The first track of the four song EP is the title track, ‘Son of Dawn’ and in typical “true kvlt” fashion the band jumps right into it with everything they have starting with that classic black metal guitar sound before the thunderous double bass and cymbal crashes kick in. Guitarist Profanator demonstrates some brief solo work as the vocals begin and one cannot help headbanging along with the music. Like a lot of German Black Metal there’s an almost punk feel in the music, simplistic and fast paced yet very effective. There’s a few crushing breakdowns in the mix which is a little unusual for typical black metal but it’s done well.
‘Eyes of the Scythe Wielder’ is the second track on EP. It’s punishing and dark and combines the best of traditional black metal with the best of old school thrash. The opening is a flurry of snare drum and crunchy guitar work which leads the brooding and chaotic framework of the song. It’s apparent these guys are big fans of the mid 90’s Scandinavian sound and their ability to blend that rawness with what is undeniably a heavy Sodom influence is truly wonderful. It’s been done before, I realize Black/Thrash has been a thing for quite some time but Illum Adora do it right and that’s what matters here. Profanator again lends his axe-murdering skills with an impressive solo before diving back into the darkness.
“In Hideous Blasphemy” as well as “The Suffering of Affliction” (the third and fourth tracks) are both good songs, the former being an all out black metal assault from start to finish and the latter being the most melancholic of this EP. Often times I find some reviews to be redundant because it’s obvious the band is following a set blue print which is sadly the way a lot of black metal bands go and Illum Adora are no different in this department.
Son of Dawn is a good EP but it’s nothing that hasn’t already been done. It’s solid throughout, it has all of the main ingredients a hardcore fan will enjoy. It’s dark, it’s evil, it’s fast and it will annoy the crap out of anyone who hates this particular genre but when I sit down and try to put a ranking on it I look for a few things and originality is one of the things I look for. Illum Adora sound good; there’s solid guitar work, the vocals are a bit generic but consistent and effective and the drums succeed at laying down the rhythmic foundation (there is no bass player, by the way) of yet another black metal album. As a huge fan of the genre, these guys do it right but I can’t help but feel they’re holding back. My favorite track on this four song album would be “Eyes of the Scythe Wielder” because it’s the one track I think the band had the most fun writing. I realize in the black metal underground “fun” has no place but I think there’s definitely some room for these three guys, as a band, to grow and I would love to hear what they can do as far as putting together a full length album.
I give “Son of Dawn” 7 out of 10 since the band is still young and I think with this EP they have proved that they can belt out good music. What I would love to see from them on a full length album is for the band to ditch the blueprints and really make it their own. That would set them apart from the ever growing number of black metal bands out there.