When you have a defined style, your sound comes naturally. While not a simple thing to accomplish, it’s instantly a recognizable quality when the music hits your ears. This is the feeling that stays with the Illuminaut EP throughout the entire listen. The first track, The Grey, begins it all with an excellent first impression.
The Grey cradles you in with snares while sliding in some percussion bongos before changing the mood. The track gives off a mysterious vibe as its dark, slow guitar plucks and slides take a backseat to the thundering drums. The echoing vocals only add to the mystique, then the track goes into overdrive. At around the 2 and a half minute mark, the guitars rev up and the percussion explodes into a hard rocking motif whose creeping baseline keeps the mysterious aesthetic while the song embraces the hard rocking instrumental turn. It makes for a track that’s easy to get lost in and will have you moving, whether it be headbanging to the harder parts or swaying with the more melodic sections, The Grey shows the strengths of the EP right off the bat. This is to say nothing of haunting vocals, which feel like the perfect guide through this wild ride of a first track.
Dead Messengers follows it. The instrumental creeps from ear to ear before unleashing the distorted shredding of the guitar. Fully embracing the hard rock motif from the jump, the track also has a much more prominent vocal track that pushes itself front and center. The chorus and lines such as “don’t you know your loves’ a weapon? It’ll kill you if you let it” hit hard and fit perfectly with the rock and roll instrumentals while being delivered with a gentle smoothness that solidifies the style of the EP. The composition is no slouch either, with an amazing turnover at around the 3 minute mark that leaves an excellent impression with a tremendously powerful outro, both vocally and instrumentally.
Native Alien has rolling drums from the intro lead perfectly into the vocals in this track. It’s a track full of attitude with lines such as “don’t you lie to me, I can see everything you hide, I can see the world’s disguise.” The percussion goes hard in this track, with rapid double bass drums and flickering synths that go from twinkling to menacing as the track goes on. This is complemented by some excellent guitar work that goes from deep and heavy strums to mysterious rhythmic motifs effortlessly. There is also excellent mixing on the vocal track, with certain lines feeling like they’re echoing from one side of your skull to the other. All this makes Native Alien a wild ride and a stand-out among stand-outs for its blending fundamentally solid rock foundation with a twist of Illuminaut’s signature mysterious and dreamy aesthetic.
Two Wolves proved itself a high octane track right off the bat. The instrumental is a menacing rock sound that builds up a tension in you as it goes on. This is reinforced by some melodic vocals with some whose lyrics carry a deceptively shard edge. Lines such as “cover my in bones in melted, broken pieces of glass” carry this attitude right alongside the hard-rockin instrumentals, leading into an excellent breakdown at around the 3 minute mark that shows off the more intense side of Illuminaut’s sound. An excellent conclusion to a hard-rocking EP.
Illuminaut’s latest EP is a must listen for any rock fan. Ben Taylors’ quest for a lyricist meets the perfect match with Blaze Powers, whose voice and lyrics command a unique presence when combined with his composed instrumentals. From start to finish the sound only evolves, with each track highlighting something about it. This makes it easy to get into and those who click with it will fall in love instantly. With such a robust and fundamentally solid rock sound, it’ll be hard for one of these tracks to not end up on your playlist after just one listen.