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Cause of death: Dave Mustaine. - 75%

HeavenDuff, July 10th, 2013
Written based on this version: 2006, CD, Escapi Music

Looking back today at the release The Parallel Otherworld by the band Eidolon, released in 2006, I feel that this album as kind of came and went without doing much waves. I barely ever hear this album, or even this band mentioned by metalheads when discussing progressive metal bands. This is very concerning to me, considering that this band, that now disbanded… which is a shame really, was a very capable band. Pillars of the band Shawn Drover and Glen Drover got involved with the legendary thrash metal band Megadeth a little before The Parallel Otherworld was released, and it seems to have affected the band enough for it to split-up by 2007. Shawn Drover is still in Megadeth right now in 2013, while Glen Drover has left the band to focus on his solo project.

Eidolon’s sound has evolved quite a bit throughout their years of existence. Their magnus opus is, and will forever remain their last one, The Parallel Otherworld. Unless of course if they decide to reform and work on another album again. In which case, they would most likely not end up surpassing themselves.

Eidolon on this specific record manages to put together elements of progressive metal, with trash and power metal in a very unique way, but that still reminds me of other bands. Their sound is somewhat reminiscent of the music of both Nervermore’s Godless Endeavor, and Symphony X’s The Odyssey or V: The New Mythology Suite. The musicians of Eidolon have built their music for this album around lengthy progressive, thick and heavy metal riffs, sustained by Nils K. Rue’s vocals jumping from power metal vocals to thrash metal vocals, back and forth throughout the album. Even if this album has a very progressive feeling with riffs stretching through two or three bars sometimes before repeating, most of the tracks are built around one or two main riffs. In cases like on Arcturus #9, Astral Flight or Thousand Winters Old it becomes very noticeable. But since these mains riffs are catchy, heavy and supported by great bridges, choruses and a strong bass and percussions section, they never get boring. Not once during the listening of this album have I felt that the music was going nowhere. It just seems that Eidolon managed to gather together the simple and catchy approach to music of power metal and combined it with energetic, progressive thrash metal riffs. A prime example of this is the title I’ve mentioned a little earlier, Thousand Winters Old. Mostly built around the two mains riffs heard in the first minute of the track, little variations of the same riffs and bridges between the sections make these riffs feel fresh and badass every single time they come around.

If some of the tracks have simple structures, good heavy and thick metallic guitar riffs to create catchy and memorable tracks built around one or two riffs, Eidolon manages with stunning longer tracks like Ghost World, The Parallel Otherworld and The Oath to really show off their progressive metal influences. Of course, these tracks also have riffs that repeat during the chorus, but the guitars and bass takes a little more freedom on these tracks. Throwing in some solos, mostly forgettable ones sadly, and expanding around the riffs a little more.

What we have on this record is a good mix of shorter tracks (five or six minutes) with simple structures and a few solid riffs to build great tracks and a few longer tracks (seven to eleven minutes) on which the band let’s their progressive metal elements shine. What really makes this album a great progressive thrash/power metal album is how well the rhythm guitars are built to match with the vocals. Teamwork between the guitars and the vocals is what really makes this record. Even if the riffs on this album are absolutely great, they need the vocals. The tracks on this album leave a very important and predominant role to fill by the vocals. Spirit Sanctuary is a very good example to support my point. On this specific track, the guitars play their more complex riffs when the vocalist is silent, and play more simple supportive riffs when the vocals jump in.

Bottom line, the album The Parallel Otherworld is to me, one of these underrated or maybe forgotten records that would really deserve more recognition. On this album, Eidolon offers a solid mix of power, thrash and progressive metal. If the album does remind me of Symphony X or Nevermore, I wouldn’t say that the progressive elements are as solid on The Parallel Otherworld as they are on The Odyssey, V: The New Mythology Suite or This Godless Endeavor. Glen Drover’s progressive guitar riffs writing skills aren’t quite on par with Michael Romeo’s ones. What Glen Drover manages to do though, is write a good and catchy brand of progressive power/thrash that, in my opinion, outshines bands like Nevermore when it comes to the general feeling and musicality of the tracks.

The album closes on a fucking amazing cover of The Oath by Mercyful Fate. Rue’s vocals on this track would make King Diamond proud. He screams his lungs out over a very enjoyable interpretation of the legendary band’s track played by his fellow band members. This is the best ending imaginable to such an album. If you’re a power metal or a progressive metal fan, you’ll want to hear this one, at least once in your life. It’s an album with a unique, yet familiar sound. It’s very sad that this band doesn’t exist anymore…