Illusion Of Clarity - The Three Fiends
Illusion of Clarity is a 5 piece ensemble from Sweden, which was formed from the remains of the metal band Hellstream. In the bands own words, their influences are said to "range from classic rock/metal and progressive rock/metal with a neoclassical touch to the rage riffing of bay-area thrash without sacrificing room for own tricks". I have to agree on all parts and everything is more or less there, but the rock/metal parts are way more represented than the others.
The World Is In Your Hands starts with a riff that screams Iron Maiden and NWOBHM in general, and is uptempo with good riffing but there are bit more to ask for in the bridge and refrain department. Some parts do not really fit in the song, and it sounds a bit misplaced. The rhythm section and the solos are good, and the best parts are the instrumental ones.
The title track, The Three Fiends, is the best written song on the demo. Varied, well sculptured, both heavy and fast and blends between heavy and technical on one side and power metal on the other, and if it's true what the band states - that it is a good example of what to expect from them in the future - than they are looking at a bright future. It is said to represent the progressive side of them, and I can agree on that but it is still not what I would call progressive. The classic metal is still having the upper hand on the material, with a good rythm section and good instrumental work, especially in the last part of the song with great solo performances and here the neoclassical elements show the most. The guitarists know how to build a good melody or hook, and they are performing it well.
The finishing Rock'n'Roll Soldier starts with yet another trademark old school riff and turns into a galopping metal hymn, more or less, and has to be considered a good, but average metal song. It is a stright heavy/power metal tune with a straight and repeated one line chorus. As well as the opening song, this one could do with some more work on the vocal arrangements. It once again loses a bit of the energy during the bridge and chorus and sounds like it needs some more work. Instrumentaly it is thumbs up again during the solo sections, with a great twin guitar bit thrown in, and that's where the band show them from their best side.
I like the style, and this instinctively appeals to me since classic and traditional metal with a simple touch always works. This is a bit naked naked and simple in its arrangement, but still with the perfect amount of ingredients from different styles to make it interesting. On the minus side I have to mention the singer. He is not bad at all, but what I miss is more pondus and strenght behind it all. It sounds a bit too weak and one dimensional for the music at the moment, and on top of the already sometimes bad refrains, it sometimes takes away quite a bit of the enjoyment and drags down the overall impression. My wish/hope for the next material is also more focused songwriting, with riffs, refrains and verselines in harmony, and with an increase in the already good riffing and neoclassical area. And, by all means, feel free to throw in those thrash riffs also, which I almost fail to hear on this demo even though they were said to appear. A bit more power and juice behind this would bring these songs to a higher level.
Check them out for a dose of classic metal. With a bit
of work on the above mentioned areas, I am sure that future releases
from this band will be highly enjoyable.