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THROUGH THE FIRE

Illusion

Eclectic Prog


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Illusion Through The Fire album cover
3.44 | 7 ratings | 2 reviews | 14% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2001

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. One more turn of the wheel (6:49)
2. Good heart (4:51)
3. Glorious one (4:10)
4. Through the fire (5:05)
5. Blowing away (3:40)
6. Mystery of being (4:13)
7. Beat of the earth (4:14)
8. Beyond the day (4:12)
9. My old friend (3:47)
10. Through the fire (reprise) (1:23)

Total Time: 42:47

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- James McCarty / drums, percussion, vocals, piano, keyboards
- Jane Relf / vocals
- John Hawken / piano, keyboards
- Louis Cennamo / bass
- John Idan / acoustic guitars
- Ravi / percussion
- Dzal Martin / guitars
- Jackie Rawe / vocals
- Mandy Bell / vocals
- Emily Burridge / cello
- Gary Le Port / acoustic guitars
- Jonathan Digby / acoustic guitars, bass
- Danny Relf / keyboard programming
- Ron Korb / vocals, flute

Releases information

CD Kissing Spell/Spiral SCD 923 (2001)

Thanks to fishy for the addition
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ILLUSION Through The Fire ratings distribution


3.44
(7 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(14%)
14%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(29%)
29%
Good, but non-essential (29%)
29%
Collectors/fans only (14%)
14%
Poor. Only for completionists (14%)
14%

ILLUSION Through The Fire reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Fishy
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.

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Send comments to Fishy (BETA) | Report this review (#80130) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, June 02, 2006

Review by kenethlevine
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog-Folk Team
4 stars Silent meditation poses a problem for our constantly plugged in society, since it requires tuning out external stimuli and heeding one's inner voice for a change. One may not always like what one hears, but guided meditation and imagery can be an effective alternative that suffuses the yielding participant. Of course, as in any inward pursuit, that rare commodity of patience is essential, but the potential rewards are worth the sacrifice. Such is the case with this reunion, er- solo , ay - RENAISSANCE ILLUSION disk.

"Through the Fire" is essentially a JIM MCCARTY album consistent with his brilliant "Out of the Dark" (1991), meaning it amply retains the core values of the original RENAISSANCE albums and those of ILLUSION in the late 70s merged with his own tender idealism and spirituality. The main difference from his official solo albums is the presence of most of the contingent from those 70s bands as backing musicians. While JANE RELF sings backup, the main benefit of this reunion is in JOHN HAWKEN's mellifluous keyboards, chiefly piano. These elevate the effects of every song and impose a progressive footprint on what is otherwise a melodic soft rock album.

The most progressive piece here is the opener, the sprawling "Another Turn of the Wheel", which might be considered an alternate title, or at least theme track. Both "Good Heart" and "Glorious One" are solid uplifting songs with appealing blends of electric and acoustic guitars and McCarty's surprisingly mature and soothing self-taught vocals. "Mystery of Being" represents a cross fertilization with the more Native American sounding work of one of McCarty's other involvements, the band PILGRIM, which is recommended if you like the concept of BLACKMORE'S NIGHT but find you need lactaid pills to digest their kitsch. One of the biggest surprises is how much "Beat of the Earth" sounds like REM, even down to McCarty's MIchael Stipes impersonation, but musically as well. Not there is absolutely anything wrong with that!

The consistency of McCarty's vision is beguiling, as he tenderly imparts every message in a manner that bears consistent rewards every time one listens, whether actively or passively, with headphones while drifting off to sleep, or perhaps with someone special. This is a man who has passed through the fire and come out stronger, and is generously sharing his experience to those of us who not only listen, but hear.

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Send comments to kenethlevine (BETA) | Report this review (#418648) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, March 20, 2011

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