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Illyrian - Round 2: Fight! [Self Release - 2016]

llyrian have taken the ever more popular decision of self-releasing their latest offering Round 2: Fight! The album was co-produced with Casey Lewis at Echo Base Studios, and mastered by Sacha Laskow (Every Hour Kills, ex-Divinity) at Perfect Fifth Studios and is available to buy from Itunes, Amazon and also on Bandcamp. The band have been around since 2011 playing their own brand of death metal infused technical thrash metal. The album is their second, and represents the follow up to their debut album Welcome to the Hellmouth, which was released under their previous name of Hellborn Death Engines.

Opening track “Walking in Sunshine” is a pleasant enough slice of technical thrash metal which introduces Illyrian’s major selling point, their three pronged vocal attack. The mixture of clean and rough vocals is a trend that has continued to grow within the modern metal scene in recent years and whilst these guys have been doing it for a little while it’s not the major standout for me. The rough vocals are quite generic, pleasant enough but I’ve heard numerous vocalists in metal today who sound the same. The musicianship is much more interesting to me.

Title track “Round 2: Fight!” is another good solid slice of classic thrash metal with overtones of 80s Death Metal. Some pretty tasty drumming and some nice riffs make for a pretty good thrash metal track. Some really good lead guitar finishes things off quite nicely.

“Oppulent and Imperial” continues in much the same vein, there is a little more of a progressive influence specifically in the riffs and some of the lead work, which seems to be particularly prevalent throughout the track.

“Chaotic Neutral” and “Zeta Reticulan” continue in much the same vein, however for the next track “Mindbender” the whole band seems to up their game a little. The vocals seem to work really well on this one, and everything moves along at a great pace. The band seem really comfortable and together on this track. “Five By Five” follows in a similar vein keeping the intensity levels up, as does the following track “Wings of Freedom”.

“Technodrone” and the album’s standout track “Sounds of the Serpent” round out the album in style.

Overall, this record is fine and a pleasant listen, which for the most part doesn’t really differentiate the band from a host of other thrash metal bands currently plying their trade today. On a more positive note, they are a relatively new lineup with tremendous technical abilities who I believe are perhaps just beginning to find their sound. Tracks like “Sounds of the Serpents” and “Mindbender” show that they’re perhaps not too far away from writing that killer album. I look forward to hearing future projects.

Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5

Darren Charles
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