Norway's metal scene is small, localised, independent and, above all, of very high quality. Despite that, the worldwide metal community often views Norway as a third-world country. But perhaps that is no bad thing, because the inflatory export of bands from their neighbours Sweden and Finland cannot always be seen in a positive light. Average becomes the standard. But clocks tick differently in Norway, as the last albums of PAGAN'S MIND and CIRCUS MAXIMUS prove, both of which were way above the general norm and which caused a furore on the prog metal scene. It is from the neighbourhood of these two groups that we now welcome ILLUSION SUITE and their debut album "Final Hour". And we can already claim that we have here one of the finest, most intensive, expressive and exceptional albums of 2009 so far. Where DREAM THEATER tumble into ever more complex song structures, no longer seeing music as entertainment but as a platform for egocentric self-realisation, and where Whilst SYMPHONY X produce longer, vaguer albums with less and less innovation, ILLUSION SUITE steps in. "Final Hour" will please all the people who have been wandering around in musical limbo since DREAM THEATER's album "A Change Of Season", looking for an adequate replacement. ILLUSION SUITE puts an end to the wandering, the multifaceted songs of "Final Hour" leaves no doubt about it. The musical quality is immense, the song structures are deeply embedded without being too demanding, the balance between ass-kicking riffs and unforgettable multi-part vocals is pleasant and compatible to a mass audience without bowing to commercialism. The songs gain more and more class, the more intensive one studies them. "Average" does not come into it - the amazingly exciting songs get to you in a flash: Nine songs, nine musicial jewels, which will glitter in the eyes of prog metal fans. The bridge between high-class, hard harten song structures and mass-compatible choruses has no equal, as can be clearly heard in the hymnlike "Scarlet Skies". The lively "The Passage" expresses more driving riffs than playfulness, whilst the almost seven minute long "Pandora’s Box" displays all the band's musical know-how. The highlight however is the 15 minute long "The Adventures Of Arcan", which begins in a very DREAM THEATER-like manner but soon gains a life of its own. Singer Bill Makatowicz’s expressive, charismatic voice really impresses itself on the track. "Final Hour" is a musical masterpiece without any weaknesses whatsoever and one which is sure to unreservedly please prog metal fans.