Illuminata – Where Stories Unfold (2015)


After blowing us away with their music in 2011, Austria’s Illuminata returns with yet another Gothic/Symphonic Metal masterpiece with their third full-length album “Where Stories Unfold”. Using a 60-piece orchestra and two different choirs, the band bets big on their music and delivers around 60 minutes of brilliant music that will impress any fan of the genre.

Crafting a very dramatic opening with “A Story Unfolds”, the lush orchestrations and very cinematic music instantly catches our attention. With the real opener, “Eternity of Today” the band shows that their core sound has greatly evolved and delivers a magical Gothic Metal track filled with astonishing arrangements and the hypnotic vocals of Katarzyna Nieniewska.

The band does a great job in changing the pace of things between songs like on the moody “Violet’s Compass” and the playful “Arbitrary Asylum”, which has some very dark and interesting twists and turns. Taking full advantage of the Czech Film Orchestra, the album’s compositions are very carefully crafted to sound bombastic and very catchy at the same time. For people like us that love Gothic Metal ballads, “White Heart” is one of the best ones we have heard in quite a while as it feels very dramatic and authentic.

With a very compact and well-crafted musical core provided by Thomas Kern (drums), Christoph Vide (bass guitar), Sabrina Kern (keyboards), and Lukas Knoebl (guitars), the band crafts very solid tracks that perfectly mix Metal elements with the cinematic orchestral experience as. Songs like “Phoenix”, “The Brass Ring”, and the playful “Danse Macabre”, are perfect examples of the band’s creativity and desire to make a very unique release.

Saving the best for last, our favorite track is the closer “The World Constructor” and its nearly 10-minute journey. In this song we have the perfect balance of lush classical elements with heavy guitars and dramatic arrangements. Overall, Illuminata is a band that has heaps of talent and it is not afraid to make music on their own terms. “Where Stories Unfold” is a very ambitious release that was partly crowdfunded allowing the band to stay in control of all elements. If you are looking for something similar to Epica, Visions of Atlantis, Xandria, etc., please give this band a shot, we are sure they will blow you away.

Band: Illuminata Album: Where Stories Unfold

Label: Self-Released

Release: January 23rd, 2015

Official Site Social Media

Genre: Gothic/Symphonic Metal

Country: Austria

Rating: 93/100

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