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ILLUDIUM release third single 'Aster' taken from "Ash of the Womb"

ILLUDIUM release third single 'Aster' taken from the forthcoming new album "Ash of the Womb"

ILLUDIUM have unveiled the emotionally raw track 'Aster' as the third single taken from their forthcoming album"Ash of the Womb", which is slated for release on October 15, 2021.

The Californian dark dreamgaze act headed by singer and guitarist Shantel Amundson have already revealed cover art, tracklist, and further details of their new full-length, which may all be viewed below.

The track 'Aster' is available via the following link:

ILLUDIUM band pictures and other graphic materials are available through this link: (click here for Dropbox)

ILLUDIUM 'Aster' taken from the album "Ash of the Womb"

ILLUDIUM comment: "The track 'Aster' can be interpreted as some kind of sidereal fantasy about coming into existence, bursting forth from the primordial stardust and becoming a conduit for the universe to be aware of itself", relates frontwoman Shantel Amundson. "There is a vibrant and youthful vibe at the beginning of 'As of the Womb' that was important for me to capture, and 'Aster' sets the tone for that."


4. Ātopa

5. Madrigal

6. Where Death and Dreams Do Manifest

"Ash of the Womb", the sophomore full-length from California's ILLUDIUM was born in the fiery pandemonium of the burning season of 2020 when huge tracts of the usually sunshine-filled state went up in flames and skies glowed orange at night. During this hard time, mastermind, guitarist, and vocalist Shantel Amundson experienced profound changes in her own life, which amount to an internal personal ordeal while the outside world was also in crises. The many layers of dark and harsh metal shading on this album can easily be seen as a residue from those events.

Yet, this is far from the only issue that has influenced "Ash of the Womb". There are still those sun-drenched textures and honey-rich passages from the band's beginning on "Septem" (2016) that reflect the beautiful landscapes of the Pacific Coast, the redwood forests of the Santa Cruz mountains, and the blue ocean among which Shantel grew up and to which she returns time again in search of inspiration for ILLUDIUM.

The singer's musical inspiration stems from a wide variety of sources, of which some may have left an echo in her current work, while others have clearly not. As any self-respecting artist, Shantel prefers her music to be seen on its own terms, but she is willing to give some insights into musicians that have shaped her formative years such as SMASHING PUMPKINS, ISIS, KATE BUSH, and COCTEAU TWINS among many others. The difficulty to pin her resulting music down, is indicated by previous critical attempts to categorise Shantel's debut "Septem" that range from the somewhat long shot "progressive stoner doom" to the wide label of post-rock with comparisons to previous works by ALCEST and LANTLÔS for example.

While "Ash of the Womb" clearly builds on and expands "Septem", the new album intensifies the darker and heavier elements, which results in a more dynamic and holistic musical experience. ILLUDIUM have most definitely found a new balance with their dreamy and sophisticated side. Yet there is also continuity from the previous album for example in the shape of collaborator Gregory Wesenfeld, whose emotive drumming provides a steady drive to the songs again. After the recording, former DEAFHEAVEN and WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM drummer Trevor Deschryver has been announced to replace Gregory for all future endeavors of ILLUDIUM.

Taking their name from a concept coined by Mircae Eliade, ILLUDIUM can be seen as the musical embodiment of the religious philosopher's idea of "illud tempus" ("that time"), which is referring to the mythical sacred time of the first creation of this world. With a degree in cultural anthropology and art history, it is hardly surprising that Shantel's lyrics revolve around mystical and metaphysical ideas.

In ILLUDIUM's words: "Walking through the fire and building a healing center from ashes is the overall message and vision of this album", explains Shantel. "The lyrics deal mostly with the human body and its vulnerability through the transitions of life. They examine the natural cycles of birth, growth, death, and rebirth. Death within the womb and life within the tomb."

With "Ash of the Womb", ILLUDIUM have created an equally heavier, darker and yet more honey-combed vision of their musical exploration that gently asks for extra attention and diligent listening before revealing its true depths.

Release date: October 15, 2021

Recording line-up

Shantel Amundson – vocals, guitars, synthesizer

Gregory Wesenfeld – drums

Josef Hossain-Kay – bass

Current line-up

Shantel Amundson – vocals, guitars, synthesizer

Trevor Deschryver – drums

Josef Hossain-Kay – bass

Style: Dark dreamgaze

Recording and mix with Sammy Fielding at Ancient Owl Audio Recording Studio

Mastering by Jack Shirley at The Atomic Garden Recording Studios


Album Layout by Leslie Ferras

Photography by Daniel Hart and Shantel Amundson

Available formats

"Ash of the Womb" is available as 180g ash grey vinyl, 180g black vinyl, and on CD.

Band pictures and graphic materials: (click here for Dropbox)

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