Friday, January 13, 2017

Review/Giveaway: Infidel Rising - The Torn Wings of Illusion Album Review

Before I start this review I would like to say a few words: I did not get paid or received any free products in return for this review. I am not an expert on music. this is just my opinion about this album and how it makes me feel. I did not do this review because I was asked to, I do it because I deem the album worthy of spreading the word about it. The Giveaway is also not sponsored - I was just so excited to share my thoughts on Infidel Rising's album, The Torn Wings of Illusion, that I wanted to give a copy away to one of our readers!

New fan!
After seeing Infidel Rising live on December 10th 2016, and buying their album that day I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve listen to it over the past month. To be honest, I am not the biggest fan of studio albums. There’s no particular reason as of why, I just always enjoyed live albums a tad more, but after spending so much time it, The Torn Wings Of Illusion has become one of my favorite studio albums.

Infidel Rising is a Power / Progressive Metal band local to Dallas, Texas with a heavy sound, classical symphonic and ethnic overtones and the lyrical artwork has depth and a richness of ideas.

According to  the band's Facebook bio, "the concept for Infidel Rising was always inside Travis Wills before he even realized it. Growing up in Houston as a drummer, it wouldn't be until he moved to Dallas as a vocalist that the calling would take hold.

It was difficult to find the right band members to create the sound they envision, and it ended up taking almost 2 years to find and put together the current members: Travis Wills - Lead Vocals, Wayne Stokely - Drums, Jason Donnelly - Guitar, Daniel Almagro -Bass, and Pasche Simmons - Keys and vocals.

I had the good fortune of starting todevelop a friendship with some of the band members on Facebook after my mentioning them in the Power Metal Concert Review and I totally took advantage of it by asking Travis Willis directly about the backstory of The Torn Wings Of Illusion.

This is what he told me (quoted from our conversation with permission):

“The Back story to the album is personal experience, or a different perspective to what has always been told.
The songs like Power of Goodbye, Reflections, Talitha, Torn Wings, Alive, those were all personal experiences dealing with death, or loving someone that dealt with depression, or dealing with my own demons or joys.
Holodomor, was a piece of history that never gets told, I thought it was important to bring it to light.
Exodus to Kadesh, Cloning Appearance, Finding Nevermore, were observations, and also a different approach into the main stream biblical teachings, which I don’t agree with. I believe that the Bible should be viewed thru the eyes of Jewish, and middle eastern view...not western.... we know nothing about the culture, all we know is what we think we know... Meaning, we may dismiss something written in the bible because we may think it’s no big deal...While that is the case thru western eyes, it is a big deal on the other side of the world. So this modern approach to religion has killed lots of what the original intent was, and it’s sad, and I try to expose it.
The Great Discovery is a song about an idea that you view the world the way you would want to live in... and that it’s in each of our powers to make a great world... to manifest it...stop depending on others to make the world special. it starts with you, and if everyone thought that way then the world would manifest itself differently. “
That should give you a good idea of where this album is coming from - now I'd like to share a few impressions of some of the tracks.

Infidel Rising – The Torn Wings of Illusion

Year released:   2015
Tracks:                  11
Run Time:            66:25

Artists on the Album:
Travis Wills – Lead Vocals
Wayne Stokely – Drums
Rafael Rivera – Guitars
Aaron Walton – Keyboards & Violin
Daniel Almagro -Bass

1.       1932 – 1933 (Passaeaglia)

The prologue to Holodomor is in Ukrainian and you can hear a dramatic sounding conversation between an older man and a boy. It talks about how the Government is to blame for the Holodomor.

Travis was so nice and provided a transcript for me:

Made by Stalin."Holodomor"
The man said: "Run away child, because they are gonna catch you and cook you"
Kid: "and you?"
Man: "well, they will cook me as well if they catch me. But it's no use, there's only bones in this body."
Kid: " is that a plague?"
Man:" no, son, that's the government, run away son, run away…"

2.       Holodomor

3.       Exodus to Kadesh

This track seems to deal with the new Testament and the different approach that Travis mentioned in our Facebook conversation.
“Believing all scriptures of darkness in truthThe lies of Sanhedrin abandon their truthLet us run to the mountains of JordanAbandon society’s violence and lies”
4.       The Torn Wings of Illusion

5.       Alive
Fun fact: Travis told me that this was actually the first song he wrote.

6.       Reflections

7.       Power of Goodbye

8.       Cloning Appearance

9.       Finding Nevermore

10.   Talitha Koum

11.   The Great Discovery
“The love of all grow cold, the hate for kindness unfolds. We’ve lost our way in humanity, and tensions grow. Our patience have grown thin, for others what they believe in. Embrace the cultural decay, has become society’s way.”
I honestly would love to quote every song in full just because of how fulfilling I find the lyrics, but I won’t. The lyrics are listed in full inside the album ;)

My personal favorite would have to be The Torn Wings of Illusion and Cloning Appearance. The Torn Wings of Illusion lyrics are just very deep and I can find myself in them over and over.

I think this album is in general wonderful, and the merge of Power Metal and Progressive Metal couldn’t be better. Many try and can’t pull it off, but Infidel Rising does.

Even with the longer songs like Cloning Appearance (8:47) and The Great Discovery (11:39), I never felt like they overstretched a song.

I feel like that’s the struggle with a lot of albums in that sub-genre - - that many have overstretched songs or that the symphonic & classical elements can seem out of place. But Infidel Rising balanced it out very well without causing boredom or losing interest while listening to the songs.

The lyrics are very deep and managed to provoke all kinds of emotions in me. Some of their songs make me question things, others cause me to tear up a bit (don’t judge me! I never said I wasn’t a tad over emotional when it comes to great music) and others just make me feel great, hopeful and empowered.

I think overall the album is very positive sounding but it has its dark edges.

Another thing I wanted to say about this album is that it comes in a standard Clear CD case with a small booklet which includes the lyrics as well as thank you notes from the members.

The CD its self has a matte finish and the overall design is beautiful.

In our conversation, Travis described the story behind the album artwork like this:
"The album cover is us "butterflies" going back to our past feeding off of it ....Black swan....hence black swan in regret... thinking if we would have done this or that we could have prevented the out come....”
You can purchase the physical CD of The Torn Wings of Illusion through their Facebook page for $10.00 which includes free shipping within the US.

Or you can also find them on Amazon Music as a digital download for only $8.99!

Overall, I think this band deserves a lot more attention for their work and if you enjoyed this review, got a chance to see them live yourself or liked their music, be loud about it and give them the attention that they are worth!

I also wanted to take a second to mention their band shirts. They have multiple design but I just went with the plain logo one instead of getting the one with the Album logo on it.

The quality is great. The shirt is on the thinner side, which I personally prefer, and they run true to size!

If you order a small you actually get a small and not some teeny tiny piece of fabric that’s more like a XXS.

Also, their merchandise looks pretty cool. I’ve gotten compliments for it quite a few times!

These shirts are priced at $20.00 each.

For more info about their merchandise check out the pinned post on their Facebook page!

I hope you have enjoyed this review and take advantage of your chance to win a free copy of their album!  Read on to see how!

This giveaway is for 1 audio CD: The Torn Wings of Illusion by Infidel Rising, and is being offered by Patricia Reazin, one of the contributers to Reviews, Chews & How-Tos.  We are not affiliated with Infidel Rising, and they did not provide the giveaway item, nor are they responsible to provide the CD.

To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment in this entry as instructed by the Giveaway Tools Entry Form below. This will open up additional optional entries to increase your odds of winning. (If you don't leave a comment, any additional entries will be void.)

This giveaway is open to US RESIDENTS (& APO/AE) ONLY and will end just before midnight ET on 1/27. 

The winners will be notified by email within 24 hours after the end of the giveaway. In order to claim the giveaway prize, the winner will need to respond within 24 hours of notification, or an alternate winner will be selected.

Once the winners have responded and confirmed, their first names will be posted on our Giveaways  page.

Good luck!


  1. I really liked the title track! This band seems promising. Meaningful lyrics are very important to me. I cannot listen to random noise.

  2. I agree with Jackie, band does sound promising! #ProductReviewParty

  3. They sound like a good band to listen to, however, I'm more into R&B, Pop, and oldies.


  4. I really like the Holodomor track, especially the drums!

  5. I've really been enjoying listening to several of their tracks on this album and others as well. I love the mix of prog rock and metal (one an old fave, and the other something I've been exploring the last few years. One of the things I like best is that the band includes a woman, which I think helps create a different feel than the metal of several years ago that felt like an all-boys club. I look forward to hearing more from Infidel Rising!

  6. I agree with Jackie, band does sound promising!

  7. Thanks for sharing the review with SYC. I had not heard of them.

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