Record Review: The Illness

The Illness
A Monument To Our Gilded Age
San Francisco, CA


“A brutal tribute to prog rock, fueled by jazz-influenced instrumentation”

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The Illness packs more than earned comparisons to Mastodon and Clutch; this creative band illustrated its bio comic book style, which shows snippets of its history in panels including guitarist Carlos Villarreal’s ability to “shred in 7” and the band’s affinity for Tool. That Matt Zipkin and Cyrus Wong-Weissman met in Berkeley only further proves what one hears on A Monument to Our Gilded Age – these boys can play. Heavy and abrasive, but hypnotically lulling, songs like the title track beat the senses with rolling drums and roaring lyrics. This band’s artistic edge doesn’t stop at the bio; the packaging subtly encourages fans to “sell all you own,” a point driven home in intensely genuine songs like the spoken-word “Take A Number” that introduces “Defenestration.”

One of the true stand-out tracks, “Krakatoa,” showcases the guitar work with harmonics, hammer-ons and pull-offs; it sets fire to the fact that these guys can melt faces as well as light the path for true musicians and masters of their craft. The following track, “Misanthropy,” powers through screaming vocals to further illustrate the band’s versatility.

Looking for a brutal tribute to progressive rock fueled by jazz-influenced instrumentation? Look no further than A Monument to Our Gilded Age.

Written, Performed & Produced by The Illness

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