Kettle Band Of The Week: Florida’s Illuminate Me

With guest vocals from some big names appearing on their debut album, Illuminate Me are definitely one to watch.

With guest vocals from some big names appearing on their debut album, Illuminate Me are definitely one to watch. A five-piece hardcore thrash band from Florida, they recently signed to Tragic Hero Records. 
Vocalist Christopher Murray spoke to Kettle about the band and their new album I Have Become A Corpse. Murray, a self-confessed coffee-addict (which might explain where he gets all this energy from), is a lover of the artists we all grew up listening to, like My Chemical Romance, The Used and Underoarth, who we can thank for getting him into heavier music! 
Illuminate Me began in 2012 as a studio project for brothers Chris and Corey Jacobsen (guitar and drums) before being joined by Murray (previously of Sailing With Ghosts). Their debut EP Crawlspace saw attention building and they added three more members, Kevin Halton (bass), Anthony Burke and Sebastian Quintero (guitars), to begin the journey as a full live band.
“We just wanted to write crazy music and play shows” said Murray. “I think our goals have definitely changed now we’re signed. We certainly want to make this a career.” 
From gnarly guttural screams to straight-up punk 
Their debut album I Have Become a Corpse has been in the making for almost a year, and is drawing a lot of attention with shows and videos along the way. Giving a taste of what the album has to offer, is single “Apples to Whoranges” featuring Jerry Roush of Glass Cloud.
You’re thrown straight into some gnarly guttural screams, with scenes of flashing lights and true thrashing pits as the band performs live. The track breaks down into smooth sections of drums and guitars, with some straight-up punk style vocals. My only complaint would be that it seems to rush through and is over far too quick, making you want to listen to more. 
One of the most distinctive features of Illuminate Me is their live show, claims Murray: “You’d have to see us if you want to know what I mean.”
But for those not lucky enough to pay a visit to the East Coast, you can see a taste of their live antics online. One of the best performance memories was being invited to play at a pool party.
“We decided to bring our drum kit on the roof of the house and then all jump in the pool,” Murray said. “It was insane!” 
An interesting mix of styles and mayhem 
Another stand out track is “Voodoo Blues” featuring Garret Rapp of The Color Morale, delivering vocal sections which surprisingly remind me of Rage Against The Machine, before returning to the growling vocals. This isn’t the tightest sounding record, which gives it a sense of DIY punk, but with an interesting mix of styles brought together it certainly demands another listen. 
Murray promises that Illuminate Me’s music is angry and chaotic, with no gimmicks. With 11 tracks of hardcore-thrash-punk mayhem on I Have Become a Corpse, I’d have to say I agree! 
Illuminate Me’s debut album I Have Become A Corpse is available from July 15th on Tragic Hero Records. Let us know what you think!