EP Review: Troy Marks / Illumino
Reviewed by: Roger Scales
Every once in a while you stumble upon an album, band or solo artist simply by being in the right place at the right time. Shortly after interviewing Steve Blaze from Lillian Axe I got a request to listen to an EP (on Steve’s recommendation) coming from solo artist Troy Marks called Illumino.
Also hailing from the New Orleans area, Marks has been a regular within the Louisiana rock scene for the better part of twenty plus years. He actually replaced Phil Anselmo in a band called Razor White as Phil left to join Pantera! Well Illumino is a diverse selection of songs that show several different sides of Marks as an artist and really represents a vast array of different styles and moods. I truly enjoyed this EP and I think Marks has a bright future either within a band environment or as a solo artist. Let’s go track by track shall we?
“Passenger Side” is an uptempo rocker with plenty of attitude. It really reminds me of John Corabi meets Tesla. Marks sounds like neither singer really in tone but it’s a just a vibe I get from this track. Love the chorus on this track, very strong opener.
“Last Rites” is another track that rocks hard. I like everything about it except there is an occasional “oooh” “ahh” at the beginning and repeats throughout the song that I don’t care for. Some great guitar riffs highlight this track.
“Trippin on Love” slows everything down and is probably the stand out track on the EP. It’s beautifully performed on acoustic guitar and Marks’ range really shines. Some cool “Jon Lord” type organs here as well. The lyrics are heartfelt and so is the performance.
“Low and Behold” is really heavy, again that what’s great about Marks is the diversity – you go from a ballad to a metal anthem! This song has a Savatage feel to it: epic, big hooks. My personal favorite track on the EP.
“The First Stone” ends the EP on a high note. Straight ahead rocker with some of the best harmonies on the release. More catchy lyrics and big guitars. Well done.
Troy Marks may just be the best vocalist you probably have never heard. Illumino is the best EP you have never owned, but should. If you enjoy good straight ahead rock/metal with some old school organ flavor and some Louisiana spice thrown in then I suggest you try this. Be careful to blow on it first..It’s hot!
For more on Troy Marks visit his website here.