Illuminate Me, and their latest album I Have Become A Corpse, take hints from Southern rock-tinged metal like Every Time I Die, Maylene and the Sons of Disaster, or I Am Heresy, give it a youthful luster, maybe add a bit more chaos to the mix and call it good.
The musicianship on this record is really good, if not somewhat predictable: breakdowns aplenty, riffs getting jammed on hard, drum fills so crazy they had to have given an octopus the sticks and recorded the frenzied flailing, and even a few well-timed bass drops. The one in the title track is so violent and loud it seems to even scare the band. The only thing they’re able to do afterward is create random noise and feedback.
The punk in me loves that during “And I Will Never Die” one guitar seems to be tuned a little flat compared to the other. What is that old saying, “Perfection is the enemy of good?” This is a really good record, with one thing holding it back from being fucking killer: the vocals. The style of vocals just seems wrong for this music. These guys need vocals in the vein of Keith Buckley or Nathan Gray to truly make them monsters. Listen to “Funeral Friends” and imagine one of them singing over it. That weird, slightly discordant chorus riff needs a melody to match. Also, I dunno who some of the guests vocalists are (the only one I recognize is Jerry from Glass Cloud), but none of them add anything to the music. Whoever the hell Landon Tewers is … dude, I don’t care how brutal you think you are, you’re not. You sound like an angsty teenager pissed off because your parents didn’t buy you the newest fucking iPhone. Just stop.
Make no mistake, Illuminate Me is really very good. They just need a vocalist who can actually sing to potentially make them the second coming of Every Time I Die. Until then, they will be holding themselves back, which is the biggest mistake they could make.
I Have Become a Corpse is out now on Tragic Hero Records.
Rating: 3.5/5 Stars