Determination. Dedication. Honor. They are virtues a band must possess in some measure if they want to endure. Yet, these virtues are seldom found today, with the endless turnover of bands in the music industry. If you ask Spoken, however,
these words are not just virtues, but mantras. And it is not acoincidence that this band has found a new pinnacle with their new album, Illusion.
After parting ways with previous label home Tooth and Nailshortly after 2007’s self-titled LP, the band has been storing up emotion, building momentum for re-emergence. Now, with abrand new partnership with entertainment conglomerate eOneEntertainment, a new producer, a fresh sound, and a newlineup, Spoken is prepared to eclipse anything they haveaccomplished previously.
Illusion is an exercise in aggression and calculated fragility. Laced with testosterone, the album throws down with the elite of metal and hardcore in calculated moments of heaviness. But what makes this record distinctive is not its speedy riffage or
it’s pounding beats, but it’s emotional candor. Several of thestandout tracks, including the undeniable singles “Through itAll” and “Take everything,” dabble more in modern rock than they do in direct assault.
“We wanted a record that both fans and musicians would appreciate,” explains frontman Matt Baird. “We spent so much time on it, rewriting and reworking over a period of years. Thisis the most fast, heavy, riffy stuff we have done. There aremoments that might remind the listener of Slipknot or As I Lay Dying, but in the end we are a rock band that has really
aggressive moments. This is more accessible as we have ever gone, as well as heavier than we have ever gone.”
Produced by Jason Rauch (Red), Illusion is a concept with which most can relate, as it references disappointment, disappointment, and bitterness. Baird states, “The album titlerefers to the situations in life which are not what they seem. Sometimes we have expectations about circumstances or relationships which don’t play out the way we intend them too. Then, when you are affected negatively by the actions of another and the bubble bursts, how do you respond?”
Spoken is confident in this is the hour of their vindication. Onemust just listen to their new effort to come to similar conclusions. But despite the potential for new plateaus, Baird
and his cohorts remain resolved to put motive above stats, honor above potential accolades.