Iluvatar‘s second album called Children, was released in 1995. I felt a need to revisit this album because it’s a very important neo-prog as well as a symphonic prog album that has truly stood the test of time. At time of this album, the band consisted of Gary Chambers (drums, percussion, backing vocals), Glen McLaughlin (lead vocals, percussion), Dean Morekas (bas, backing vocals), Dennis Mullin (guitars) and Jim Rezek (keyboards).
Opening up the album is “Haze” (6:43), a wonderful ‘happy’ sounding song with dreamy keys and vocals that remind me of so many like Geddy Lee and Jon Anderson to name a few.
Next is “In Our Lives” (6:46), a melodic ballad. The band is in tip-top shape here as with the vocalist. Towards the end, the band breaks out in full volume, giving the song some life.
“Given Away” (6:42) is a perfect melodic dreamy song. Somewhat of a ballad but much more. There’s some upbeat moments where the band is up front in the mix. Here I’m reminded of another American prog band called Enchant. Especially their first album.
“Late Of Conscience” (8:58) has the band in expanded form as the band produced the album’s first epic. It’s a rocker while remaining melodic. It’s one of my favorites of this album.
The next three songs have similar qualities “Cracker” (5:59), “Eye Next To Glass” (4:56) and “Your Darkest Hour” (5:07). The last track is among my favorites of the band’s catalog. It’s one of the more upbeat sounding songs, despite the title may conjure.
Closing the album perfectly is a epic called “The Final Stroke” (12:30). This is the song that best describes the ‘Iluvatar’ sound, their trademark style to be exact. It contains all of the moods that have been covered in the entire album. A perfect way to end a perfect album.
As I previously stated, this album has stood the test of time unlike many others in the genre. It’s as fresh sounding in 2010 as it was in 1995. This album is the standard of the best of the neo-prog genre. While this album is Out Of Print, I urge fans that don’t have this, to seek it out from the band if possible. Perhaps the band will make it available on itunes or emusic if a physical copy is for sale for an outlandish price. Hands down, a highly recommended release of all time!
Reviewed by Ron Fuchs on October 26th, 2010
[Editor's note: It's be brought to my attention that the band still has copies of 'Children' available. I recommend an immediate purchase before it goes OOP]