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Illuminandi - Demo II

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If memory serves me correctly, the only other album I have from a Polish band is Undish.  While that is a great gothic album, Illuminandi has a whole different sound.  Illuminandi has put out two demos, creatively titled Demo I and Demo II.  However, after hearing Demo II, my next step is going to their website and downloading the entire Demo I cause this band has impressed me a great deal.  Illuminandi plays a really creative mix of metal with stringed instruments such as cello and violin.
 
The first song "Kto Mnie Wyzwoli" starts off with the bass guitar while the cello slowly slides in with the soft electric guitar.  The vocals on this first song are a clean, haunting male vocal.  The song is somewhat slow paced, but has some crunchy guitars in parts.  The violin and cello are used to create a very somber mood that works well with the half sung/half spoken vocals that even include the occasional scream.  The background vocals are also very well executed here. 
 
If you don't like the first song though, stick around cause all three songs on here, while maintaining a cohesive feel are very different.  The second song "The Light" is the only song to have partially English lyrics.  The rest are sung in Polish.  This song is a little more upbeat, heavier, and even contains some underlying deathly growls.  Not to change the subject, but the production on this demo is pretty good.  Every instrument is plainly heard, from the bass guitar, to the stringed instruments, to the electric guitars.  The drums even have a pretty decent sound.  A little hollow sounding at times, but not bad at all for a demo.  "The Light" also incorporates some kind of droning (I guess that would be a good word to describe it) vocals in the background that sound pretty cool.
 
The final song "Wiec My" is definitely the heaviest song on the disc.  It starts off with a violin that leads into some hefty guitars and death vocals.  They also mix in some gruff sounding vocals, clean male vocals, and even some female vocals with sound really good reminding me of the lead singer of Undish.  Heck, she sounds exactly like her, which is not a bad thing.  Even got a mini violin solo going on in this song that fits in perfectly.  The cello chimes in mid song to give a very depressing feel before the guitars and double bass rip back in to reclaim the floor.  They then join each other before the cello and violin finish the song out.  Definitely a song with a lot going on in it.
 
Overall, I'm very impressed with Illuminandi.  The band seems to be very creative and they've got a good sound mixing beauty with brutality very nicely.  While I like the heaviest song "Wiec My" best, all of the songs fit the band well and they shouldn't abandon any of this whenever they do a full length...which I hope is sometime soon!  For more info, or to even download some of their songs for free, check out their site at http://www.illuminandi.kdm.pl/ or their mp3 site at http://artists.mp3s.com/artists/559/illuminandi.html  (Review by Matt)

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