Iluvatar
Iluvatar


1.5
very poor

Review

by Nick Butler EMERITUS
December 24th, 2008 | 187 replies | 26,073 views


Release Date: 1993 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Happy Christmas everybody!

In the early 90s, prog really was on its deathbed. Stuck between the radio hits of the 80s and the OK Computer-headed revival, and kept on the ground by alternative rock's domination of both critical and commercial avenues, bands operating in the genre knew from the off that they had no chance of success. What this meant in practice was that the members were free to indulge every prog whimsy, knowing that the only people who'd hear their music were diehard prog fans. The likes of Iluvatar (a 6-piece from Baltimore) could therefore live out every flight of fancy, free of pressure - they could sing about fairies and epic battles and Norse mythology and geek literature and the Bible and their Facebook relationship status with Channing Freeman and plagues and gifted children and Aesop, while playing mindless solos for hours.

In other words, Iluvatar is super gay.

Honestly, if Rush were 2112, this album is 204409. It's prog to the nth degree - like Grateful Dead, minus the flair. The lyrics occasionally sound like the band chewed up and spat out the works of Plath and Pinter; more often it just sounds like they got off their tits on mushrooms and decided that writing about a gingerbread man was actually a good idea. No less than three of the albums songs - "Eagle", "New Found Key", and "Exodus" - form a suite on this very topic. Another suite, "In The Eye" (which, in the true spirit of prog lameness, is split into three parts), has a Metropolis meets Blade Runner concept, following the story of a felon in a futuristic, electric city. Seriously, who writes songs about this?

Bonus track "Medopalis" is symptomatic of everything that's wrong with this album. Stealing a riff from Eric Clapton's "Cocaine", and interspersing it with lines lifted from The Byrd's "Eight Miles High", it's simply a mess. Their attempt at playing around with asymmetric or changing time signatures is both derogatory and reductive, and yields both endearing and annoying responses. Shit generally be crazy, yet the capacity of human intelligence seems to limit their capabilities to expand upon any possible creative aptitudes. This inveterate sense of constraint is a great blow to the veracity of mankind’s abilities. Or something. What's certainly true is that you can't imagine anybody enjoying this unless they have a big '80s mullet. There's also at least one song sounds like that one Latin track from the Final Fantasy VIII soundtrack (what was that called again?), forever endearing themselves to weeaboos everywhere.

At least there's a few things to recommend this. Penultimate track "Marionette" beats that Britney diva to the circus concept by fifteen whole years, and boasts a career-defining performance by guitarist Zach. Savage power chords rip through this album highlight, which is almost perfection, but is flawed by the kind of fiddly glam-rock soloing you should only ever hear at a Van Halen show, and a horrible tonal clash that suggests that they really should have hired a piano tuner. The blasts of noise throughout also make you wonder whether somebody in the group is a pixies fan.

Overall I simply cannot recommend that you get to know Iluvatar, or any of the people involved in this. I mean, what kind of moron names themselves after Lord of the Rings anyway?



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user ratings (16)
Chart.
2.5
average

Comments:Add a Comment 
IsItLuck?
Emeritus
December 24th 2008



4925 Comments


awesome

foreverendeared
December 24th 2008



14678 Comments


oh god, this is hilarious.

the FFVIII track you're thinking of is Liberi Fatali i thinkThis Message Edited On 12.24.08

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
December 24th 2008



4925 Comments


I actually have a review half written up that is similar to this, except way less subtle

foreverendeared
December 24th 2008



14678 Comments


forever endearing themselves to weeaboos everywhere


FOREVER ENDEARED

Lucid
Contributing Reviewer
December 24th 2008



6958 Comments


This was hilarious!
Should have used the word "faux" repeatedly though.

Digging: Wild Beasts - Present Tense

Iai
Emeritus
December 24th 2008



3553 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I actually have a review half written up that is similar to this, except way less subtle

Is it possible to be less subtle than this?

Serpento
December 24th 2008



2351 Comments


i think i'll check this ouWAIT

Iai
Emeritus
December 24th 2008



3553 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I'm a little disappointed that the 'at a Van Halen' quip is split over two lines because that's probably the wittiest thing in here

edit: apart from the Liberi Fatali thing which foreverendeared handily explained for everyoneThis Message Edited On 12.24.08

Minus The Flair
Emeritus
December 24th 2008



862 Comments


This is the most ridiculously awesome review ever. You win at Christmas. This even beats Jesus.

taylormemer
December 24th 2008



4887 Comments


lol, that was awesome.

DBlitz
December 24th 2008



1685 Comments


haha wow

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
December 24th 2008



3752 Comments


Sir, I salute you.

Digging: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Days Of Abandon

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
December 24th 2008



15693 Comments


awesome

This Message Edited On 12.24.08

Digging: Nmesh - Dream Sequins® [AMDISCS]

robin
Emeritus
December 24th 2008



4221 Comments


happy christmas

SlaveLabor
December 24th 2008



453 Comments


Iluvatar

TheStarclassicTreatment
December 24th 2008



2909 Comments


should have hired a piano tuner

Hahaha wtf?
Review of the year contender imo

TheStarclassicTreatment
December 24th 2008



2909 Comments


ELIMINATOR

joshuatree
Emeritus
December 24th 2008



3743 Comments


awesome

AggravatedYeti
December 24th 2008



7684 Comments


^ bingo

Tits McGee
December 24th 2008



1876 Comments


oh man, review is amazing



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