There is an impossible amount of music to talk about here in one review, and it definitely is not for everyone. During about the third or fourth song I was thinking to myself that the band could benefit a great deal from vocals, something to anchor the songs around. An uncountable number of solos abound, both guitar and keyboard. Unlike the aforementioned Dragonforce though, this band has ideas! And while they might catch a break with a more traditional band sound, they surely excel in their current format.
Each song plays like it is the final battle in your favorite 16 to 32 bit jrpg; the part where your teammates have to prove that they have the power of the human spirit to over come the Dark Lord of whatev. Take the half way point in “Illusion,” the hook comes through in a memorable, but simplistic keyboard melody between two furious solos. It is the slow and easy parts like that which catch the ear. However, the leads and solos aren't just there for show. Many times the insanely fast guitar work features enough repetition to be workable as a rhythmic section, parts that might be catchy enough to stick with you a bit. This is something I'll have to investigate with a few more listens.
It isn't all 65 lbs of Japanese muscle burning up the fret board non-stop. The title track “Promised Land” plays like an elegy to some fallen warrior, slow and mournful. I feel like these albums always come up short late in the game, but the last song “Mystic Formula” features an absolutely dazzling interplay of guitar and keys, which gives way to a somber outro. Of course that only lasts for a few minutes, because this is a band that goes out at top speed.
Verdict: Win (with a side of epic for guitar and key enthusiasts)