|Nostradameus – ‘Illusions Parade’ (AFM)|
|Written by David Whistance|
|Monday, 14 December 2009 08:59|
In 1998 Nostradameus vocalist Freddy Persson and guitarist Jake Freden were on their way to watch a Gamma Ray/Iron Saviour gig when they began to listen to a compilation comprising of Iron Maiden and Helloween en route, and in doing so they suddenly realised there was a huge gap in that metal market that longed to be filled. Thankfully Nostradameus were then born as the band to do just that.
On this, their sixth album - 'Illusions Parade' - they prove that not only are they flying the flag for power metal, but with such an accomplished metal vocalist as Freddy Persson in their grasp they are leading the war against music mediocrity.
'Walk Of Pain' opens the album in grand style with a huge keyboard intro and a wonderfully infectious chorus that makes you want to stop what you're doing and just throw those horns in the air with glee. 'Art Of Deception' rapidly follows, a great power metal number displaying Freddy's vocal talent in abundance.
'Nothing' leaves the power metal at bay for a moment as Nostradameus display a softer side on this monumental melodic number. 'Broken Soul' takes the band and listener on a progressive voyage via this ten minutes (plus) number featuring every musical passage you can imagine that will be sure to keep all you prog rock aficionado's out there contented. It features a mammoth chorus, an acoustic interlude mid song, and some great drumming displayed by Esko Salou that would keep even Neil Peart on his toes.
There couldn't be a more metal sounding opening than a hammer greeting an anvil and that sound opens the title track 'Illusions Parade'. Meanwhile, 'Time For Madness' along with 'Walk Of Pain' are my personal highlights of the album, the former displaying works of sheer old school metal brilliance. 'Armageddon Forever' features a more throaty vocal style from Freddy Persson than he delivers on the rest of the album, witnessed by the chorus where I at first believed Freddy to be singing the line 'Dangermouse'; of course, he wasn't really singing about a one eyed super hero rodent but in fact expressing his views on world abomination. 'Eclipse Of The Sun' is another great metal number displaying Freddy Persson great vocal ability.
What is it about tales of the seafaring, that us Metallers find so intriguing? Whatever it is, I'm grateful for it. First we had the wonderfully epic 1984 classic 'Rhyme Of The Ancient Mariner' by Iron Maiden, now twenty five years later we revisit the high seas with Nostradameus's awe inspiring 'The Mariner', that coincidentally begins with a brief Maiden-esque guitar riff before developing into a real classic of the future.
'Illusions Parade' is an album I would definitely recommend to any power metal enthusiasts out there. It's an album full to the brim with huge choruses, phenomenal drumming, dual guitar shredding - now if only Nostradamus had predicted that...Bloody Charlatan!