Ihlo
Union
(2019)
Crank this to 8.2 of 11
Genre:
Progressive metal, Progressive rock
Sounds Like:
Voyager, Dream Theatre, Devin Townsend Project
Wednesday, January 08, 2020
Ihlo from London have released a very impressive debut album of new age progressive metal. Union is packed with traditional progressive metal influences, yet they throw in various styles from prog to pop rock and some electronics. Upon first rotation we were not sure what to make of this album, it’s seems to be a melting pot of progressive music that takes you in so many directions. One minute we felt it was a bit too much like Coheed and Cambria, than they throw in some swift Dream Theater-like fretwork, plus the addition of electronics for a softer atmospheric vibe. There are some very creative turn of events happening throughout this album as we became more obsessed with it with after each passing rotation. The vocals of Andy Robison are clean with a falsetto tone that compliments the music. The production is what kept us involved at first, its crisp and showcases their expansive musicianship, plus it sounds tremendous when cranked up. 

Tracklist:
1. Union 06:07
2. Reanimate 05:31
3. Starseeker 07:33
4. Hollow 06:58
5. Triumph 04:54
6. Parhelion 07:26
7. Coalescence 15:14

Standout Track(s)
”Starseeker” has numerous progressive change ups and is is a prime example of their diversity. 

Adult Beverage Pairing
Ghost in the Machine by Parish Brewing Company in Louisiana. This 8.0% New England Double IPA has underlying flavors of citrus, but can be very bitter. The balance of slight citrus and the bitterness can be overwhelming, but after a few sips in you’ll come to realize how unusual and good this brew is. A great pairing for this album.

ROTATION RECAP:
Vocal Performance
8.4 out of 11

Risk of Subwoofer Damage
8.2 out of 11

Captivation and Variety
8.4 out of 11

Weight of the Heavy
8.1 out of 11
 
Lyrics and Song Structure
8.5 out of 11

Fretwork Prowess
8.6 out of 11

Overall Album Flow
8.3 out of 11

Originality
7.6 out of 11

Album Cover Aesthetics
8.6 out of 11

Production Value
9 out of 11

Final Thoughts
Union is one hell of a debut album. The way they combine their progressive influences is pretty damn impressive. We’re excited to see what they have in store for future albums, the music here is very expansive and lets them go any direction.

Ihlo are:
Phil Monro - Guitars, Production, Mix
Andy Robison - Vocals, Sound Design
Clark McMenemy - Drum Production

Guests:
Connor Mackie - Guitar solo on Union
Thorfinn Van Plunkett Manson - Vocal Engineering

Follow Ihlo: Bandcamp / Facebook
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