Illuminate – Destine

Dutch pop-rockers Destine are on the brink of releasing Illuminate, their second full-length. This time around, they joined forces with some big names in the music industry, such as James Paul Wisner, who produced the band’s debut Lightspeed and David Bendeth, who has been involved with bands such as Paramore and All Time Low. The band have had a busy year, filled with touring, recording and the filming of their documentary Footprints: A Year in the Life.

Destine has pretty much had success after success, both nationally and abroad, with singles In Your Arms and Stars and album Lightspeed. The task ahead was a difficult one, to make sure that their next album would be even better. Thousand Miles and Stay, two singles that came out last year, gave the listener an early glimpse of what was ahead, and the fans were pleased.

With Illuminate, the band is trying to start a next phase in their musical careers. Lightspeed was incredibly catchy and melodious and these two things have pretty much become Destine’s trademarks. This time around, Destine has chosen to go for a multi-layered approach and have deliverd a very dynamic array of songs.

Illuminate kicks off with Four Leaf Clover, a song that is very reminiscent of New Found Glory and You Me At Six. Filled with catchy riffs and a very addictive chorus, this is the way to kick off an album in the right way. Stay keeps the flow going, and was already a smash hit as a single. This is also the first track that directly tunes into the Illuminate theme, with many references of moving away from the dark, which is a metaphor for bad times in relationships. You need to look forward, not back.

All The People is a calmer intermission and has a little Christmassy tinge to it. Together with Best Kept Secret, this track shows how Destine has grown since they released Lightspeed, and especially vocalist Robin van Loenen, who has managed to add more depth to his songwriting and the lyrics are more heartfelt and serious than before.

Wait Forever goes straight back to the catchy riffs and big chorusses that Destine is known for and the track that will solidify Destine’s position in the pop punk world. Thousand Miles, the second single of the album, is a sweet piece of pop-punk pie, borrowing from bands such as Yellowcard and Fall Out Boy which, just to be sure, is supposed to be a compliment.

Unbreakable and Night Skies keep the listener clinging to their speakers or headphones, although it has to be said that Night Skies is a warmer and sincere than some of the other tracks on this album, showing what Destine is capable of. There is a lot of diversity on this album, even though it seems that every song on this album is classified as catchy, but their all catchy for different reasons. Night Skies is a track that everyone who has ever been in a relationship can identify with and remembers the walk home to see your significant other after a long day, when most of the people are already sleeping, something with van Loenen also says.

One of the best tracks is Best Kept Secret. This piano-led track shows the talents of each individual band-member and shows how well they blend together. This is definitely going to be a crowd-favorite at shows, simply because of the sing-along chorus.

Closing off the album are The Awakening and album title track Illuminate, two songs that keep the same feel of catchiness and dynamics and set the bar high. Destine is ready to face the big boys now.

The national breakthrough has long been made, and thanks to their tours in the US and Asia, Destine has already introduced themselves to the international crowd. Now the time for introductions is over and the international breakthrough is right around the corner.

Final verdict: 8/10

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