Journey To Illumination - Seraphic
Album: Journey To Illumination
Genre: Symphonic Metal
Review by Steve Jenkins
Bursting onto the Australian scene a little over two years ago, this five piece symphonic metal band from Brisbane have released their long awaited debut album Journey To Illumination. Enthralling audiences with their captivating live performances enchanting melodies, Seraphic are here to deliver some of the finest and most powerful metal to come out of Australia.
Listening to Journey To Illumination in one sitting is quite satisfying. With all of the epic, captivating and compelling sounds that this album offers, it comes out as a really good debut, with the nice parts outnumbering the very few mediocre ones. With successive listens though, the element of surprise does not disappear, it becomes even more apparent that there are no hidden drawbacks. When opening track 'The Reckoning' begins with the beautiful piano work and crunching guitar riffs and shredding, you get into it straight away and feel the energy. Seraphic masterfully create metal combined with classical music, giving an expected sense of grandeur, which works very well for them. With other strong tracks such as 'The Silent Apocalypse' taking you on a majestic journey, and the adventurous yet catchy song 'The Tide Of Life', the first half of the album is extremely impressive.
The songs on Journey To Illumination are riddled with great walls of sound and many musical details, with interlude 'The Road Less Travelled' smack bang in the middle giving the listener room to breathe before things get epic once again. Τhe second half of the album, however, finds the band in even greater form, heavier than before, playful and relaxed on their instruments, fully inspired and pumping out incredible numbers like 'After The Night' for example. Most of the good moments can be found here and the quality is shifted even higher here. Many of the ideas and concepts sound concentrated, not just scattered around and it's a relief for an album boiling with ideas that can't be channeled properly, but this is consistent from start to finish.
'Fire And Ice' is probably the standout track on this album, the build-up is proficiently crafted, starting off with a sorrowful orchestral piece that slowly leads to the climax, the operatic vocals are superb and all instruments involved shine, this steals the show. Frontwoman, Sam Wolstenholme, proves she is an experienced and well crafted vocalist, with her operatic style bringing absolute beauty to the heavier moments. 'Emancipation Of The Lost' is another track which lifts the band to a whole new level. With a soulful intro that features an array of playful instruments that present us with some of the catchiest instrumental parts on the album. Nice build ups and well-thought transitions, this song is everything an enthralled listener could ask for and even more.
With this debut release, Seraphic should be well established as one of the best bands of the genre already. Do they seem like a one-trick pony? Definitely not. If this is what they can offer us for their first full length album, then I can't wait to see a natural and exciting evolution to even greater heights. It doesn't sound rushed and it definitely does not sound boring, and even someone who may not be familiar with this genre will find this very accessible. This is a landmark album for Australian metal that will certainly give Seraphic the attention they deserve. It’s phenomenal instrumentation, production, and collaboration within its members makes Journey To Illumination an enjoyable and powerful debut album.
8.5 out of 10 stars.
Journey To Illumination is available via Bandcamp and on iTunes, also stream the album on Spotify.
Watch the official lyric video for 'The Final Act' below:
Find them here:
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/seraphicbandaus/
Instagram - @seraphicband
Bandcamp - https://seraphicband.bandcamp.com/