State of Illusion – Aphelion

Another Twitter find, the band State of Illusion is one I have found while searching my followers a few weeks ago. After hearing some of their singles off their Soundcloud page, I was deeply impressed with what they released, and felt compelled to mention them in this blog.

State of Illusion is collaboration between Jacob Porter on vocals/guitar/piano and Josh Breland on bass/drums/guitar. This band from Greenville, South Carolina is a mixture of many styles of contemporary rock and post-grunge, with hints of progressive rock and nu-metal. On July 22nd, State of Illusion released their newest album “Aphelion,” which I have anticipated for weeks. After several listens, I am more than happy with the result.

Consisting of 13 songs clocking in over an hour long, “Aphelion” has its share of harder and slower songs. The overall vibe is comparable to Staind’s albums “Chapter V” and “Break the Cycle,” Breaking Benjamin’s “We Are Not Alone,” and Cold’s “13 Ways to Bleed on Stage.” Using similar styles of harmonics, melodies, and chord progressions, I feel State of Illusion has found its niche of rock music, and has the ability to rise in the contemporary rock scene.

The album begins with a soft melody that slowly builds into heavy combination of bass pedals and electric guitar. Some other harder songs off this album include “Blind,” “So Here We Are,” and “Over.” My personal favorite song of this album is the song “Find Yourself,” one that can easily become the next radio hit if given the chance. Using melodic verses with heavy choruses, I always catch myself singing the words to this song. Mixed in amongst these songs I cannot help bobbing my head to are beautiful, ballad-like songs like “Casey” and “Wings and a Rose.” I love the melody of the clean guitar over the other instruments, which reminds me of some of the best slower songs from bands like A Perfect Circle and Chevelle. The album closes with the song “Open Your Eyes,” with a perfect mix of clean and dirty guitar riffs complemented with meaningful lyrics. Overall, the mix of hard hitting songs with softer acoustic songs should appeal to every fan of contemporary rock, offering a little bit of everything to the listener.

The best thing about this album? By far it is Jacob Porter’s vocals and lyrics. Strikingly similar to Aaron Lewis of Staind, I was in shock when I first heard their music. I could swear that Aaron Lewis was featured in the song, only to find out that that’s just how Porter sings. Being a huge fan of Aaron Lewis, I could not get enough of the three singles released on their website, and was anxious to hear more. The passion and movement behind Porter’s voice is unbelievable, easily shifting my mood based on the mood of the song playing. The down-to-earth lyrics with such emotion helps me feel for each song, almost as if I am the one going through heartbreak or solace. My favorite lyrics come from the song “Blind” with the lines:

“If you could only see through my eyes / If only you weren’t so blind / You’d see each step you take / Makes my heart break” (source)

Porter’s stunning voice and lyrical ability gives me goose bumps every time I listen to “Aphelion.”

State of Illusion - Aphelion
Photo by State of Illusion

This album is perfect for fans of Staind, Breaking Benjamin, A Perfect Circle, Chevelle, and even some heavier bands like Disturbed and Lacuna Coil. I view “Aphelion” as the album Staind should have released, the album I’m waiting for Breaking Benjamin to release, and the album A Perfect Circle will never release. State of Illusion has beaten them to the punch, winning my heart with such an amazing performance. Please support this new album that has newly been released on iTunes.

Please enjoy a complimentary listen of “Aphelion” from Bandcamp below:

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