I hope you're not really expecting me to tell you what kind of genre of metal this is. With Swedish Acolytes of Moros you have stepped into the extremes of traditional doom. "Illusions of Progress" sounds like a lost demo version of not so unexperienced Reverend Bizarre. And for such a young band this is quite an immense achievement.
I guess a lot of people would find this album kind of boring, because really - it does not discover the dark side of the moon. It's more or less something you have heard in one form or another. However, if you're an oldschool lover you'd probably be really pleased to hear the release. Even these days when doom metal has reached its biggest popularity you don't meet stuff like Acolytes of Moros around the corner. The music here is really pushed to the extremes of slowness and nihilism.
"Illusions of progress" consists of 4 tracks, one being a very short intro, so let's say three full-blooded tracks. As every proper doom metal recording should - you receive a banging awesomeness with song length no less than ten minutes. Yes right, ten minutes long is the shortest track. So if you're some confused person waiting for a happy fast metal song, pack your suitcase quicker and leave the hall. The production of this baby here is top notch for a small budget. Actually, I would prefer that kind of stuff over overproduced modern crap anyday. So really, even if it's a little low production "Illusions of progress" is completely listenable and in no way sounds like a garage recorded doom (even if it is).
I will proceed with the singing, because the vocals are my favourite part in this EP. You can easily imagine the singer chanting from a high mountain. Damn, he sounds like leading a funeral procession. Finnish and Swedish singers know their doom. As honest as I always am, no one does these types of chants better than Scandinavian people, there must be some spell behind it. Take Horse Latitudes as an example, damn fine stuff. The singing goes from this high as fuck type of epic way of pronunciating the words to angrier gutteral almost black metalish type of singing. Don't really think of black metal shrieking or something, it's just an association.
Bass guitar is quite audible and this gets and instant plus. Real long guitar solos are not present, the guys have sticked to more straightforward stuff which is one reason I can't seem to fully dig this release. The last track is really atmospheric and does sound to me like a low tuned bassy atmospheric black metal. As lucky as I am to have read some of the lyrics, I got to say I am impressed with them as well. As cold as the music is, the ideas that stand behind the lyrics are so as well. As the name of the EP suggests itself, don't hope to find any rays of sunlight here. But since lyrics are kind of something you should interpret for yourself, let's leave that here.
To sum up my overall impressions, "Illusions of Progress" is a very successful effort, though still lacking some elements. It's more or less an introvert kind of album, sad but not really angry. It doesn't get you for the balls and throw you to the other corner of the room. I think there is a lot of potential to be developed here and will surely check what goes on with these folks. Doom on.