Awake Before The Dawn

Secret Illusion are a power metal band from Greece formed in 2007 by guitarist Filippo Papakyriakou, releasing their 'Silent Voices' demo the following year. The bands first album 'Illusion' was released in 2011, with the follow up 'Change Of Time', released in 2014. Filippo is the only original band member left, and after assembling a new line-up, Secret Illusion return to the metal scene with their third full length album 'Awake Before The Dawn', released in 2018.    
An atmospheric build up heralds the beginning of the new album. 'Curtain Falls' is a two minute crescendo building, anticipation creating "can't wait for the album to start" feeling that breaks into the bombastic 'Neverland'. Fist punching and adrenalin pumping, 'Neverland' thunders forward with energy and intensity. The bands new singer has a clean and clear vocal delivery, the guitars and keyboards flourish together perfectly, and Secret Illusion are back with a vengeance. The new album chimes in at an hour in length and across the ten songs on offer, you will find head bangers, foot stompers and the lighters in the air moments. Indeed, half of the songs clock in at over six minutes in length. The album continues apace with the electrifying 'Fall Of Human Kind'. Tempo and energy levels increase as 'Fall Of Human Kind' sets a blistering pace, stepping into the speed metal genre as it rockets along. 'Fall Of Human Kind' is a head bangers dream, and with a catchy sing a long style chorus to boot, this is a definite highlight of the album.    
'Sailing The Open Sea' introduces a much more melodic feel to the album and progresses at a mid tempo pace. More heavy rock than heavy metal, 'Sailing The Open Sea' is power metal of the lighter variety and will keep heads gently nodding back and forth from start to finish. After only three songs in 'Awake Before The Dawn' (the album) is turning in a very good performance. Speed metal pace returns to the album in glorious style with the scorching 'Hope Is Lost'. Bustling on its way, 'Hope Is Lost' is a furious flurry that will have heads banging vigorously. Secret Illusion are masters of the addictive and infectious chorus breaks, with each and every one immediately sing a long able. Not afraid to experiment with their sound, Secret Illusion introduce a touch of the progressive metal genre into 'Kings And Pawns (Napoleon)'. Hard edged and foot stompingly addictive, 'Kings And Pawns (Napoleon)' is a magical wander through varying genres, with a majorly heavy vibe just after midway. Pulsating power metal takes front and centre as 'Winds Of Tomorrow' rolls in and marches on majestically. 'Winds Of Tomorrow' has everything that makes the power metal genre so appealing - power, pace, infectiousness and a catchy sing a long style anthemic chorus. A very good album is beginning to turn in the performance of a great album.    
A spoken word intro, presumably in Greek, the bands country of origin, heralds the beginning of the eight minute plus 'Falling'. Get those lighters out and raise them high as 'Falling' takes on the mantle of the obligatory power ballad that all modern day power metal albums include. Keyboards play a major part in the sound of 'Falling', as does the excellent vocal performance, all soulful and equally powerful. 'Eerie' returns pace and power to the album in emphatic style, until the brakes are hit hard after just one minute and suddenly you find yourself back in power ballad territory. Switching identity again, 'Eerie' moves on to become a hard rock stomp and over its entire seven minute duration, Secret Illusion greet the listener with three different awesome styles of metal. Such variety, experimentation and boldness is a brave move and one that actually works very well. And so to the final song... 'Awake Before The Dawn' is a monolithic nine minute melodic monster. Mid tempo in pace, yet also the heaviest vibe of any song on offer, 'Awake Before The Dawn' strides on majestically, stomping hard wherever it wanders. A very good end to a very good album.    
Overall, power and pace, melodic and infectious, 'Awake Before The Dawn' is a glorious and pulsating journey of melodic power metal.    
Review By Iron Mathew Collins    
Reviewed For Metal Gods TV