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Illusion - Renaissance Illusion: Through The Fire CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.62 | 19 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars For those who love the music of Renassance, this may be an unknown treasure. This album was surely overlooked when it was released in 2001. But first.a history lesson : in 1971 the first carnation of Renaissance disbanded after the second album Illusion and was replaced by the line-up for which the band became famous for. In 1976 the original band reunited without Keith Relf who died tragically the previous year. The band was called "Illusion" just like the second Renaissance album. After delivering two excellent albums the band dissolved again. In 2001 the band was reformed a second time when Jim McCarthy found he had written some Renaissance like tunes that would fit in perfectly on an album of Illusion/Renaissance. Soon original Renaissance members Jane Relf, John Hawken & Louis Cennamo joined McCarthy on this project and also a lot of session musician were brought in. It may not be a coincidence that the opening track of this album is called "One more turn of the wheel". No only the title of the song is referring to Renaissance so are the mystical arrangements. With its hypnotic rhythm and dreamy vocal lines, this is easily the highlight of the album.

In the seventies Illusion proved to deliver more song orientated music than Renaissance, yet retaining the classical elements. The same kind of songs, you'll find on this album. Just listen to "Good heart" or "Glorious one" which are built around excellent melodies and seem to sound like they've been written in the late sixties. On a delicate track like "Blowing away" you can notice the piano parts are still as brilliant like they use to be. Another song worth mentioning is the reflective title track which has a lovely laid back atmosphere. Again, the piano parts & the chorus melodies are great. This proves the band is still worth of checking out by those who like the other Renaissance. When compared to Annie Haslam's Renaissance the sound of Illusion is more sober without the large scale orchestrations. Nevertheless the subtle arrangements are something to write of. I've always loved the voice of Jane Relf, too bad she's only doing some of the backing vocals. Occasionally her distinctive voice is coming to the fore. Without her voice dominating the vocals, the music is getting less romantic when compared to Illusions two previous efforts. All in all this flawless album is highly enjoyable although I wouldn't have mind more room for enlarged instrumental excerpts. In other words, the album guaranties a good listen but it's never breathtaking.

Fishy | 3/5 |


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