Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Saga - The Security Of Illusion CD (album) cover



Crossover Prog

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bookmark and Share
4 stars Alright, the band is back! The drums have never sounded so solid- just listen to "With out You" they just pound with intensity. "Mind over matter" & the title track absolutely cook! Solid return to form.
Report this review (#17518)
Posted Thursday, December 11, 2003 | Review Permalink
5 stars A really impeccable album. Here we can hear this 5 men really near to the top of their inspiration. This is the album where I liked the Ian Crichton's guitar sound much than any other. And of course, the greatest riffs, licks, solos and very complex timing parts everywhere. The incomparable style of his brother Jim in the basses is almost in his maximum exponent, if not in the top. Steve Negus with his 70's inspired drumming but with a really, really solid sound just like Gerald Merkley said in the last review. And finally but not less important, the rail of every Saga's song: Gilmour back on the keyboards, and really back for good, just listen to the oriental tunes of the beautiful instrumental 'Voila!' and the best arrangements here and there. I consider this a masterpiece essential for any prog. rock lover as well as for anyother people who's looking for a different, creative, and with to much personallity way of rock!!
Report this review (#17519)
Posted Wednesday, December 22, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars Now this is a very fine Saga album, maybe one of their best in history. There are only good and great songs on this one and there is variation and a pretty heavy mood about it too which I like. The entrance is a group of chatting people without music flowing over nicely in the great track Mind over matter. After this track we know what we're dealing with. This is Saga kicking ass if I may say so. The next song Once is never enough has the same nice swing about it before we go into one of the two ballad like songs on the album. Alone again tonight is an emotional track superbly sung by the magnificent Michael Sadler. I'll leave it in your hands is more like the first two and then the title track and second ballad, another beautiful track. Stand up is a much rougher one again followed by Days like this, something special with a very nice atmosphere and a different vocalist (?) for once ! Voila is (too) short but extremely fine instrumental (piano) material. No mans land starts with catchy drumming, one of those original inventions by Saga then nice vocal work before the drumming ends the song as well. Last but not least Without you to end this very enjoyable listen for almost 50 minutes ending also with the chatting crowd.

You can say a lot of things about Saga but I believe it's an original and innovating band having made quite a lot of musical switches through the years. And that deserves some credit I think. At least 4 stars for this effort.

Report this review (#152005)
Posted Wednesday, November 21, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars ""So when the nineties come/ We'll do what must be done/ And when the nineties come/ We'll sing a different song""

These are the words from the chorus of the piece The Nineties from the previous album from 1989 The beginners guide to throwing shape. Indeed a diffrent mood and a diffrent orentation of the band - musically speaking. This is the first Saga album from the '90's so they tried here to be more prog rock than on previouses albums who were more pop with prog leanings. Well despite of an almost 4 years gap between this one and previous one , The security of illusion is better than the mid to late '80's Saga albums. As i said on other Saga reviews , i enjoy very much their music no matter if they were almost down in mid '80's or if they were on the top of the prog scene in the early'80's, the music to me was always top notch. So here we have a more rockier album with a good doze of progressive music, something that Saga always done in early years. This album has a solid sound, great performance as always from Michael Sadler and Jim Gilmour on keyboards and great solos and riffs made by Ian Crichton, and do not forget the excellent prestaion and solid drumming of Steve Negus . As a whole all the pieces are great but with a plus on:Mind Over Matter,The Security of Illusion and Days Like These, the rest are also good. Finally this album is without question a good one, but i can't give more than 3 stars, i prefer early Saga albums and those after Pleasure & pain from 1997. 3 stars for Security of illusion.

Report this review (#182581)
Posted Tuesday, September 16, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Saga's comeback album.

Sadly, and as the next album & the utterly horrible Steel Umbrellas proved, it was more a flash in the pan than a full comeback from Saga. But my hopes were raised to a very high level when I heard The Security of Illusion for the first time back in those days.

The previous Saga albums was not exactly masterpieces and turned me off Saga. A friend of mine from those days told me to get this album though and he was spot on. The Security of Illusion is a truly great Saga album and a solid return to the old days. Maybe The Security of Illusion is the best Saga album too.

I do not rate Saga as prog rock at all. I regard them as Pomp Rock. And that is what you get here. True and pure pomp rock. That means clever rock with a big pompeous sound. Michael Sadler's vocals is the dot over the i.

This album contains of some truly great Saga songs. Mostly the title track which is an excellent ballad. But Mind Over Matter is also a true Saga classic. Most of the other songs are very good too. There is only a couple of album fillers and that's it.

This is in my view a great Saga album and a good start off point for those who wonders what this fuzz is about. I love this album and Saga has a special place in my heart.

4 stars

Report this review (#449365)
Posted Wednesday, May 18, 2011 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
4 stars Voila!

The previous The Beginner's Guide To Throwing Shapes had been an improvement over poor albums like Behaviour and Wildest Dreams, but it was with the solid The Security Of Illusion that Saga finally returned to form. Indeed, this album is more than just a return to form - it is rather a matter of achieving a whole new form! Saga is no longer a truncated band here, with Jim Gilmour and Steve Negus returning to the fold; they are once again a five-piece band here after two albums as a trio. As a result, the sound is fuller and more powerful. It is also heavier and slightly darker than ever before. Not as dark and positively haunting as the conceptual masterpiece Generation 13, but certainly so in comparison with the band's 80's albums. The songs are energetic and lead vocalist Michael Sadler simply shines here. The material is among the band's best ever and they seem to have a newfound inspiration.

Highlights include Mind Over Matter, Once Is Never Enough, the acoustic title-track and the closer Without You. While there are no weak tracks as such to be found here, power ballads like Alone Again Tonight might make some listeners slightly uncomfortable. There are two short instrumentals on this album, but the first one of these, that opens the album, is only a rather unnecessary introduction to Mind Over Matter (that is repeated again at the end of the last track). The second instrumental, though, is a very nice Keith Emerson-like classical piano piece.

While perhaps not a full-blown Prog album as such, The Security Of Illusion is a solid Rock album that I'm sure will please many fans of progressive Rock. Indeed, in my opinion this is one of the best Saga albums. While my #1 favourite Saga album - the conceptual and very progressive Generation 13 - was very atypical of the band, The Security Of Illusion is typical Saga at their finest. The cover art is awful, but the musical contents are very good indeed.

Report this review (#491083)
Posted Wednesday, July 27, 2011 | Review Permalink
2 stars This album was sadly not what I had expected. It gets a fair bit of praise on this site and is said to be one of the two good albums the band did in the nineties. I really got into Saga earlier this year (2013) and I currently own 10 Saga CDs with another in the mail. So far each album (the first four, Generation 13, Full Circle to Marathon, Trust) have had some songs that I really liked, even Marathon which is my least favourite of the lot. I read the book of Saga's bio and was very interested in hearing "The Security of Illusion". But I was disappointed and surprised that I was.

The opening instrumental is little more than entertainment music and people laughing. "Mind Over Matter" comes in with heavy guitar and quickly sets its pace as a rocker. My thoughts are that this could almost be Dream Theater without the progressive tendencies or a band inspired by late 80's Whitesnake. It's a good hard rock song and as Saga often include commercial-sounding music on their albums, I am not worried yet.

"Once is Never Enough" shows the classic Saga sound appearing in a 1993 context. Jim Gilmour's keyboards do their thing alongside Ian Crichton's fancy fretwork. The modern sound doesn't sound quite so modern though as I find myself thinking that this song could have been done a few years earlier and been up-to-date at that time.

I am quite turned off by "Alone Again Tonight", an adult contemporary ballad that would be better suited on another band's album. The first time I heard it, I listened in hopes of finding something magical. The second time I heard it I felt compelled to skip it as either the song or the coffee I had just drunk was making my stomach literally feel uncomfortable. I kept my finger off the skip button though and concluded that Michael Saddler is one heck of a good singer. This song could have spent a week or two on the adult contemporary charts. But it's really not what I want to listen to.

We're back to a hard rock number with "I'll Leave it in Your Hands" and by now I am imagining how Joe Lynn Turner or David Coverdale would sound singing this because it sounds like Whitesnake's late 80's commercial numbers or a band called Sunstorm that did an album with Joe Lynn Turner on vocals. This is like Swedish hair metal.

The title track gives a bit of hope that Saga will make a return and it's not a bad song. If at least one more Saga-like song had shown up between this one and "Once is Never Enough" I might have had hopes for this album.

But no. "Stand Up" is another synth-backed hard rock song and by now I am starting to see how Saga could be confused with an 80's hair band outfit that had a hit or two and faded out.

"Days Like These" is who singing? One of the brothers? It's not too bad but again another stadium rock number with a loud chorus. The instrumental "Voila!" at least gives Jim Gilmour a chance to do something because he's been mostly filling in the background until now. On the car stereo this sounds alright but in the earbuds it sounds too loudly overproduced. It's like this was supposed to be a rock out album and even the piano and synthesizer instrumental has to be loud.

"No Man's Land" is introduced by a tribal-like stadium rock drum pattern (Are ya ready for some football?!!!) but the steady 4/4 drumming that is on almost every song it seems comes in. I almost thought this might be an enjoyable song after the first listen but after the second time I changed my mind. The song concludes with more of the opening tracks sounds and music.

I'm not sure what happened here. It sounds to me more like Mike and the brothers decided to try to do a hard rock album and were joined last minute by Gilmour and Negus who just filled in drum and synth tracks. It reminds me of "Seventh Star" by Black Sabbath (featuring Tony Iommi) which was supposed to be Iommi's solo project but was called Black Sabbath in order to sell more copies or the Cinema album that got changed to a Yes album because near the end there were four former Yes members in the band. This is not the exciting reunion album I had expected. This is late 80's Swedish hair metal like Europe or like TNT (wherever they were from).

I'd love to give this album 3 stars and say it's still a good album, though not one of their best. However, this is only 3 stars as a hard rock hair band album. I might have loved this in 1987 or 88 but not now and not knowing that it is Saga. As for any sign of progressive rock, it's nearly null. With a heavy heart, I give two stars. Thankfully, "Generation 13", which I got a couple of days before this, totally wowed me.

Report this review (#964999)
Posted Saturday, May 25, 2013 | Review Permalink

SAGA The Security Of Illusion ratings only

chronological order | showing rating only

Post a review of SAGA The Security Of Illusion

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.