REVIEW: Edge of Haze - Illumine

For those who don't know, I am a fan of Doom, Gothic (what few 'Gothic' bands remain), and Progressive rock/metal breeds. The vast majority of my personal music collection mostly consists of these genres - just because I review a decent amount of Black Metal doesn't mean I listen to it exclusively or for recreation. Anyhow, that being said, EDGE OF HAZE really fits into a rather comfortable niche for me - and will no doubt do the same for fans of DEVIN TOWNSEND, OPETH, and the like. Actually, I'd go as far as saying that EDGE OF HAZE really gathers the best progressive elements of DT and OPETH to make what I'd consider to be some sort of vastly misunderstood mega love-child.

Now, I don't really see how the Gothic bit fits in. I think its a tired and overused junk statement that this band instantly rises above. For instance, the only true Gothic band I know of is MOONSPELL and though they are one of my own favorite bands, EDGE OF HAZE is a whole other beast. The band has this fantastic idea of taking tired chunky simple-riffs and applying them without much shame - which I actually like, despite that seeming like a negative statement. ILLUMINE almost carries the aesthetics of punk in that way, consisting of endless simplicity though layering it to create something wholly new. I've heard the heart-wrenched and angry harsh lyrics followed by cleans - but here the lyrics remind me of OPETH songs while the music has that Neo-progressive vibe of DEVIN TOWNSEND's 'Z2.' And no, they certainly didn't copy anything. Its just there and wonderfully different but all-the-same familiar. Perhaps the production also helps support that statement as its up there with all the over-polished big bands these days, only I think if I went to see EDGE OF HAZE live it might actually sound exactly the same as what I'm hearing on ILLUMINE.

EDGE OF HAZE is a treat for Prog lovers and they really show it with ILLUMINE. Laying up at night and going through tracks such as 'A Storm At The River' and 'The Newfound Horizon' was something I didn't expect to enjoy as much as I did.