Illucia is a heavy metal band from Bangalore, India, formed in 2014 by Nitin Charles Martin (guitars), Srivatsa Balaji (drums), and Vishal Vineesh (vocals) – the band (currently) completed by bass player Imli Suneo Jamir. Illucia released their debut E.P. ‘111’ in 2019, and their debut full-length album ‘A New Reign’ in 2022.
Maintaining their penchant for the classic sound of traditional heavy metal, Illucia‘s debut album is packed to the rafters with nine head bang-able “foot on the monitor” romps – ‘Fateful Night’ bringing the album to life in a blaze of old-school thunder. The band firmly planted one foot on the monitor as ‘Fateful Night’ marches on with a little bit of menace in the vocals. With an increase in energy and tempo, ‘Clap Of Thunder’ shifts gears and flies off – slowing a little when the verses kick in, but ultimately ‘Clap Of Thunder’ is more err, thunderous than the opening song. Bangalore (India) may be five thousand miles away from Birmingham (England) where heavy metal began, but Illucia has got the sound of the traditional metal spot on – ‘Trauma Of The Sea’ displaying the awesome guitar buzz of the iconic NWOBHM evolution. And I reckon if you didn’t already know where the band is from, you’d swear they were a British band!
Maintaining the glorious sound of old-school metal, the band imposes a majestic feel upon ‘Slaves Of The Land’ – from the epic-laden atmosphere of the intro to the mellow stroll as the vocals begin, to the tension fused melodies. You could also argue that ‘Slaves Of The Land’ is a little progressive in nature, yet manages to remain well and truly in the heavy metal genre. Illucia shows their creative side as ‘Slaves Of The Land’ swings this way and that, providing listeners with a puzzling “betcha can’t guess which direction we’re going in next”. And unless you can foretell the future, or were involved in the songwriting – you ain’t gonna guess right! And right out of nowhere, the band accelerates to top speed for the fast-paced ‘The Fortress Of Gold’, and an opportunity for some seriously vigorous head banging. The pace and purpose are incredible, reminding me of British NWOBHM stalwarts Raven. Illucia proving they can run with the best of British. The band returns to the majestic march of earlier, as ‘The Chosen One’ strides into view, standing tall and very proud – proceeding to explode into life in a furious frenzy. And then swagger all around the heavy metal genre as if it owns the place – and in another lifetime it probably would have!
Bringing the power-driven style of heavy metal to the fore, the band marches on with ‘Hallucination’, all hustle and bustle as it strides forward at a mid-tempo pace. And when I say “power-driven heavy metal”, I’m referring to the style of legends Judas Priest. Illucia is varying their style across this album, yet remaining firmly planted in the heavy metal genre. Which is great for fans of ‘Priest, ‘Maiden, Saxon, and Raven – bloody great if you ask me! Energetic and lively, ‘Walls Of Desire’ keeps heads banging vigorously – and smiles a mile wide as it marches on with varying tempo. Ultimately though, ‘Walls Of Desire’ is just the latest song to maintain the band’s unabashed approach to heavy metal, ‘A New Reign’ is a relentless rampage of head-bang-able heavy metal. The final song ‘The Ritual… A New Reign’ returns the mellow and tension-fuelled atmosphere of earlier, stealthily moving forward, letting loose with fiery riffs, fast passages, and slower moments galore.
Overall, a cracking album of traditional heavy metal hugely heads bang-able, and insanely infectious.
Clap Of Thunder
Trauma Of The Sea
Slaves Of The Land
The Fortress Of Gold
The Chosen One
Walls Of Desire
The Ritual… A New Reign
Release Year: 2022
Reviewed by Iron Mathew for Frenzy Fire, and Metal-Roos.