Illumishade – Another Side Of You

Today we review the upcoming release of a band, I have just seen live a few days ago at Colos-Saal in Aschaffenburg. If you are interested, have a look at our report and enjoy the pics. While listening to the album, we are talking about, I realized that it is set up as a concert, only the noise of the crowd is missing. So here we are with the review of Swiss rising metal-stars Illumishade’s second masterpiece “Another Side Of You”!

Another Side Of You

Enter the Void 

The album’s orchestral intro also opened the concert I saw. Imagine, one member after the other entering the stage, greeting the crowd, and getting ready to play some heavy tunes of the first song.


These heavy tunes will be interrupted by Fabienne’s lovely vocals and join in for the chorus again. Synth, guitar, drum, bass come together as a wall of heavenly sound to surround the voice of an angel. Nevertheless, we can already hear the growing progressive influence.


This next song also begins with an “E” and, just like on the album, it followed “Elegy” at the concert. It even nearly has the same length. It has a different theme though, even more progressive but not less melodic. In Fabienne’s vocals I hear some oriental influence, not dominant in any way, but more like a veil in the background. I remember the crowd already going mad, celebrating “Enemy” live.

In the Darkness  

We leave the order of songs of the concert; this one wasn’t even played. It doesn’t make it a worse song than the previous tracks of course. “In The Darkness” is slightly faster, more melodic, less progressive, more on the musical metal side as we know it from the debut album. Marc’s drums are very powerful without suppressing the other instruments. It could almost be the title track of a Metal-Disney film and I mean it as a real compliment.


Here comes another song which I enjoyed live. Like the previous track it is very melodic, with a piano at the beginning, very puristic instrumentalization and dominant vocals. Fabienne rules the song with her powerful, well-trained voice but still gives the rest of the band enough space to develop the magic of Illumishade together.

Here We Are

A heavy guitar riff announces “Here We Are”, just to hand the song over to the vocals. After two kind of “softer” musical-style songs we are back on the progressive side. Jonas’ and Yannick’s guitar ‘n’ bass interlude in the middle is quite mean, even though the live version still was heavier. But that’s the difference between live and studio and I like it.


This one is the longest song of the album. Like a thunderstorm, “Cyclone” comes up as a very gloomy song. It has a very epic beginning, very dark guitars, Jonas’ solo is slightly distorted. The whole orchestration makes it an almost mystic song. Give it more than one or two listens until you judge this gem and it enlightens you as the sun, which breaks through the clouds. There are a lot of small details to discover.


I would like to classify this tale as the ballad of “Another Side Of You”. It has a sweet melody and a kind of “Disney”-groove. Once again it would be the perfect soundtrack for the next fairytale film.

The Horizon Awaits  

Are you ready for a little instrumental interlude? Mirjam seems to pull all strings of a perfect orchestration she can find and get. It builds up a fine tension to get ready for the next full song which is a bit of a hymn.


And that is why it is called “Hymn”. It sounds like a hymn of praise to bands like Queen. My inner ears hear Freddie Mercury and Fabienne Erni performing it as a duet in the world’s biggest arenas. Sadly, it won’t happen. It is a great, if not perfect song with a great guitar solo, not by Brian May but Jonas Wolf. Excellent, I want more of it and so far, it is my favourite song.


I had no idea, what “Twily” means so I went through the lyrics, and I ended up with still having no clue about it. But what I know for sure is that it once again is a quite puristic song with a strong progressive guitar influence. The spheric vocals seem to be doubled in some parts and it is a very nice effect. I wonder how this song would build up and sound live with all its little breaks.


We remain on the progressive, even darker side of music. Surprisingly, “Riptide” includes a very catchy refrain which I didn’t expect at all. Even more surprisingly it fits together in perfect harmony with the other pieces of the track.


Let’s talk about little birds and busy bees. Don’t Mirjam and Fabienne look and behave like little hummingbirds sometimes?  Aren’t they busy bees all the time? But aren’t they also powerful and overwhelming in their appearance? Yes, they are, all of it. And so is “Hummingbird”. For me it sounds a little bit like an identification song for both. Of course, it is far away from being a heavy song. It has some interesting progressive guitar chords though, but they once again simply fit.

Verliebt (feat. Coen Janssen)

If you have ever seen Epica live, you might have noticed the guy behind the funny keyboards. Of course, I mean Coen Janssen who is guest musician on this last song of “Another Side Of You”. The German title means “in love”, but most Germans won’t understand the lyrics though. “Swizerdütsch” is almost a language of its own and that is what the lyrics are written in. Piano notes at the beginning lead to very soft vocals and accompany them all through the song without any other orchestration. “Verliebt” sounds very authentic, almost like a confession. It is a true love song and I have fallen in love with it. Coming back to the idea of looking at the album as a live concert, “Verliebt” would also be a prefect encore and closer of a show to say good bye to the audience.

My personal Résumé

I know, there still are many other new albums of great and rising bands to be released in 2024. But it’s only February, and I might have already heard my “album of the year”. I can’t find any weak point. “Another Side Of You” contains 12 full length songs plus two shorter instrumentals which make a perfect album length in total. The songs have a clear melodic and progressive direction, but every song sounds different. Of course, the vocals stand out a bit more, but all five musicians are masters on their instruments on highest level.  If you asked me, if I want anything else from them, my sole answer would be: “Yes, a headliner tour to enjoy each of these 14 gems live”!

Stay tuned for our forthcoming interview with vocalist Fabienne Erni.

Short Facts:

Another Side Of You

Label: Napalm Records

Genre: Progressive Musical Metal

Release Date: 16.02.2024


Fabienne Erni – Voice, Piano    

Jonas Wolf – Guitars    

Mirjam Skal – Orchestration / Synths   

Yannick Urbanczik – Bass            

Marc Friedrich – Drums

Track list:

1    Enter the Void   

2    Elegy   

3    Enemy   

4    In the Darkness   

5    Cloudreader   

6    Here We Are   

7    Cyclone   

8    Fairytale   

9    The Horizon Awaits   

10   Hymn   

11   Twily 

12   Riptide   

13   Hummingbird   

14   Verliebt (feat. Coen Janssen)

Save the March dates of the two album release shows at Zurich and Lausanne




Please buy merch and physical music or downloads from the bands official sources and don’t stream it for free because it steals your artists’ income.

Proofreading by DerminBoad

Photo Credit: Victoria Wonka

Live Pics: Friend.X at Colos-Saal Aschaffenburg

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