Secret Illusion – ‘Awake Before The Dawn’ album review

Band: Secret Illusion
Album: Awake Before The Dawn
Release Date: 1st March, 2018 (physical release)
Label: Lion Music

 

 

Review by Sean

Secret Illusion are a power metal band from Greece, like Firewind. They punch above their weight, like Firewind. They have somewhat of a revolving door system for their band, like Firewind. However, their latest album is not as good as Firewind’s last.
It’s not a bad album at all, it’s actually pretty good, but the vocals come across as strained and, honestly, they’d benefit from a vocalist with a smoother voice, that can hit higher notes with less problem.

That said, let’s talk through it, bit by bit, shall we?
It opens up with an instrumental intro, ‘Curtain Falls’, that slowly crescendos up to the first track proper, ‘Neverland’. It’s a damn fine proper opening track, and it sets the tone for what’s coming throughout the rest of the album. The guitarwork is good stuff, the rhythm section is on fire, and the vocals are enthusiastic and full of promise.
This continues throughout the first few tracks, with special mention being made of ‘Fall of Human Kind’. It’s the heaviest song on the album, and a proper way to get neck pain the morning after. It’s my pick of the album, and it’s what I’d recommend you search for to listen to, as it’s likely this that’ll convince you to try the rest of the album.

From there, things move down a notch in speed, as we get the melodic goodness that is ‘Sailing the Open Sea’. It’s not as heavy, not as quick, and is less “power metal” and more “hard rock”, but it’s still a pretty decent song.
The slowness doesn’t last though, and after that we pick things up again massively with ‘Hope Is Lost’. It’s another barn burner of a song, with a catchy chorus, and a guitar hook you’ll hum long after the album is done. If the vocals weren’t as strained, this would be a perfect example of just how great metal can be.
The album winds its way through some more of similar stuff, until we get the necessary and obligatory ballad, ‘Falling’. The keys work here is exceptional, and the vocals are at their best on this song, for what it’s worth. Another pick of the album, but I’ve been favouring heavier stuff lately, so not my favourite.
Things pick up as we move towards the end of the album, and it’s still good stuff, through to the end, but at this point I was just mainly listening to the music, not the vocals.

All in all, it’s a fine album, and one I can recommend, but with a caveat, which is that you should maybe imagine someone with a better hold on their vocals singing. As it is, it’s still a good
album, and I’d likely go see the band if they were at a festival I was at, because they do deserve support. I hope they come to the UK, and I hope I’m able to see them.

 

 

 

Track Listing:
01. Curtain Falls
02. Neverland
03. Fall of Human Kind
04. Sailing the Open Sea
05. Hope Is Lost
06. Kings and Pawns (Napoleon)
07. Winds of Tomorrow
08. Falling
09. Eerie
10. Awake Before the Dawn

 

The physical release of this album is available exclusively from the Secret Illusion website: www.secret-illusion.com

Visit the band on Facebook: www.facebook.com/secretillusionofficial