In the brief spans between my father's disappointed sighs and sidelong looks that cut more than his words ever did, he sometimes managed to tell me something encouraging. Things like the generic but heartening “Live your dreams,” or even, one time, “You can be whatever you want to be when you grow up.” It's my belief that Berger and Gruhn, whose collective brainchild is Virvum, had a dad just like I did, who told them between one and three times in their childhoods that they might have a bright future. After all, the release of only two singles in the span of three years is something at which my father would have ashamedly shaken his head. However, it seems that Virvum held onto those faint glimmers of fatherly compassion long enough to release something that would finally garner his approval.
I imagine Berger’s and Gruhn’s fathers nodding along to the lilting neoclassical melodies that permeate Illuminance
, perhaps even swinging their long, blond locks throughout the off kilter rhythm of “Elemental Shift.” The two bandmates’ eyes light up with the mystical, childhood feelings of acceptance as they see his slight smirk during “Tentacles of the Sun,” and then wait on their toes for his verdict, holding their breath as he pulls the headphones from his ears.
“That was a good song, where's the rest of it?”
No. It had taken three years to finally put forth a complete album, one that defines what it means to be a neoclassical tech death band. That couldn't be it. Dad, no. It was true though. To their father, and to everyone else, the eight tracks bleed into each other, marring what would otherwise be a pinnacle of the genre.
The fatherly pat on their shoulders they would both receive would never be enough.