Best title of my career, probably? Also, welcome to our third premiere of the day. In all seriousness though, let’s get to it. Back when we premiered the first new single from Vivid Illusion‘s upcoming, self-titled release, I went in depth into my history with the band. If you could read even a little bit between the lines, you could tell I was pretty emotional; discovering the band is something I consider to be one of the greatest and most meaningful things I’ve done on the blog. And now, rejoice! For I get to premiere the full album a day before its release. Rejoice not only because you’re happy for me (which is reason enough, mind you) but also because the album is damn excellent. On one hand, it fits seamlessly into the ongoing surge in interest around shoegaze. On the other hand, Vivid Illusion injects that sound with plenty of influences from post-black metal, post-rock, and even some mid-west emo/math-rock sounds. All of those sounds come together to create an achingly beautiful album that’s an emotional journey and half. Go explore it for yourself for a bit and then let’s meet after to discuss.

https://soundcloud.com/vividillusionband/sets/vivid-illusion/s-iOUMNsMXSJL?si=245e58e6b977442bb44f54eb8db6d575

“Tarnished Memories”, the second track on the album, probably does the job of exemplifying everything I mentioned above. After the achingly fragile and beautiful sounds of opening track “Goldenrod”, “Tarnished Memories” plays around with its main leads, injecting that slightly math-y, mid-west emo-ish vibe into the initial guitar lead. But then the track and, indeed, the album explode in earnest, presenting a meaty, bouncy shoegaze riff that’s hard to resist before escalating things even further with post-black metal screeches, drums that sound like a million windows shattering, and a fury that is made all the more powerful for the delicacy and fragility of the sounds that came before it. It sort of feels like the cover art; everything is peaceful but everything is also fire, burning with the light of memory, emotion, and the fierce desire to be alive.

Oh, and the track is over eleven minutes long, diving in and out and exploring all of the above-cited aesthetic gestures from multiple angles and ideas. There’s a psychedelic stretch, more post-rock, more explosive sounds, and just a patient, slowly constructed piece of music that is not afraid to spend some time with its compositional ideas. The entire album is like that; if I had to choose one adjective to describe Vivid Illusion it would be patient. It’s obvious how far the musicians on this album have come since the first release of theirs that we covered back in 2015; there is musical maturity in the arrangements and progressions here that many bands would kill for.

In short, Vivid Illusion is a damn fine album which you should listen to, and purchase, if you are fans of any of the genres I mentioned above. It releases tomorrow and you can pre-order it right here.

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