There are things that grow on you in a bad way, and then there are things that grow on you in a not-so-bad way. Decadence, the debut release from Italian heavy metal band Dream of Illusion, is one of those things that grew on me, and in a big way.
The band seems to draw from many influences, so it is a little difficult to accurately describe them. Some of their music can be quite heavy in a nu-metal kind of way, while a good deal of it can be melodic or even a little proggy. Lead singer Francesco Valentini has quite a unique voice, very similar in timbre to that of Michael Sweet from Stryper. I happen to really enjoy his voice, but some people might find it bit on the high pitched side.
Herein lies my main concern for the songs on Decadence. The combination of Francesco's voice with the heavy riffs on some of the songs seem to be at odds, and aren't necessarily compatible with each other. If his voice was a little lower and gravelly sounding it could work, but Francesco is a singer, not a growler. At the same time some of the heavier stuff can be a little repetitive and the riffs stretch on a bit long. There are sections of songs where the heavy and percussive beat and the riffing could be shortened a little in order to break up any monotony that develops.
Dream of Illusion really shines on the more melodic and proggy metal songs. This is were the tone and timbre of Francesco's voice fits perfectly with their song craft. There is a lot of contrast in these songs as well. The opening riffs and verses tend be quite heavy and when the pre-chorus and chorus present themselves, the music is melodic, and dare I say it, even commercially accessible.
While it took me a couple of listens to really get into Dream of Illusion's Decadence, I really enjoyed it once I did. This is a unique band that seems to be trying to find their sound. However, what they have to offer right now is really good!
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Live Long and Rock Hard,
Space Kev's Rating: 7.75 out of 10
Dream of Illusion