Illuminata – Where Stories Unfold
Illuminata, founded in 2006, is a cinematic metal band from Graz, Austria. Their latest album Where Stories Unfold (2015) combines two of the most powerful genres: Heavy Metal and Filmscore!
Being responsible for the compositions, orchestrations, recordings, sound design, production and (orchestral-) mixing, the whole project took me about 3 years to complete, from the very first sketches to the release of the CD on Jan 23rd 2015. The cooperation and the recordings with the 60-piece Czech Film Orchestra in the Czech TV Studios were one of the most thrilling experiences in my life, and – altough a lot of effort was involved – it was completely worth it! The orchestration are very much influenced by the recet ‘larger than life’ Hollywood blockbuster sound and modern sound design, which seperates this release from ‘traditional’ symphonic metal. Furthermore, additional chamber strings as well as a classical choir and a Musical Choir have been recorded and Mario Plank, for years vocalist of Visions of Atlantis, again contributed to the album as a guest singer. The album was mixed and mastered by Jan Vacik at Dreamsound Studios, Munich, whose references not only include albums by Edenbridge, Serenity and Visions of Atlantis but who also did an amazing job on A World So Cold.
The album was also partly financed by an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign and the artwork was created by the incredibly talented Mario S. Nevado (Aegis Strife).
Overall, it was a very complex project, with many people involved. At the end of the recordings, some songs included more that 600 audio tracks, and our mixing engineer Jan had to split them accross two computers to be able to play them back smoothly!
The album has a runtime of more than an hour, features 11 tracks and all of them are recorded with orchestra. With an orchestral score of more than 300 pages, 1450 bars and 105000 notes, the musical journey will take you from creepy asylums to the carusel of life to fairytail forests – every piece is different and unfolds its own little story!
Are you ready to explore them all?
Where Stories Unfold received highly favourable reviews from prestigeous international magazines and webzines:
It’s hard not to like this if you like a spoonful of epic in your metal! (5/5)
What I really liked about Illuminata is their ability to mix cinematic and dramatically sweeping song arrangements with more accessible material. It’s a pretty cool combination that really works on “Where Stories Unfold” […] (87/100)
[…] The orchestrations are some of the most impressive I’ve heard on an album […] It’s a superb album – and in fact one of the first things I did after listening to it for this review was to order myself a copy. Highly recommended for fans of symphonic metal. (5/5)
Phoenix is one of my favorite symphonic metal tracks in the last years. […] If you’re a sucker for symphonic instrumental tracks, then you’re totally gonna revel in! (Album Of The Month)
The Songs are full of passion and energy […] An epic masterpiece!
Only one word to describe this album – Masterpiece! (10/10)
Where Stories Unfold is going to be one of the benchmarks of the symphonic metal genre for 2015 and should blow many of its peers out of the water! (9/10)
Wer ein aufregendes, begeisterndes, mitreißendes und emotionales Hörerlebnis aus Filmmusik, harten Metalriffs und epischen Klängen sucht, der muss hier einfach zugreifen […] »Where Stories Unfold« ist absolut grandios und sehr empfehlenswert. (9/10)
Where Stories Unfold features the following tracks:
- A Story Unfolds
- Eternity Of Today
- Violets Compass
- Arbitrary Asylum
- White Heart
- The Brass Ring
- Danse Macabre
- The Phantom Rickshaw
- The World Constructor