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Blind Illusion biography
BLIND ILLUSION is a progressive thrash metal band formed in 1979. They played a key role in the Bay Area thrash metal scene, in addition to boasting progressive rock influences. They were originally formed as a progressive rock band in their early days, but emerged into the thrash metal scene combining progressive rock and thrash metal, creating a unique sound. They have released many demos, but have only released one album in 1988.

This one album titled "The Sane Asylum" could arguably be the first progressive metal album ever. 1989 was when some key albums were released, but in 1988 there was very little progressive metal around, if any at all. This album is excellent, and many of their demos are very good as well. They announced they are coming back in later 2009, but without Les Claypool and Larry LaLonde, time will tell if they can pull off another great album.

Why this artist is on PA:
Approved by the progressive metal team, and contributed to the formation of progressive metal.

-Written by Jeff Ballew (J-Man)

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3.46 | 18 ratings
The Sane Asylum
0.00 | 0 ratings
Demon Master

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Sane Asylum by BLIND ILLUSION album cover Studio Album, 1988
3.46 | 18 ratings

The Sane Asylum
Blind Illusion Progressive Metal

Review by TCat
Forum & Site Admin Group Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

4 stars What makes this album and this band unique? Well, there are quite a few things that should get your attention here.

1. Les Claypool was the bass player.

2. Larry LaLonde was one of the guitar players.

3. This album is pre-"Primus" material.

4. This is credited as the original thrash-progressive metal album.

5. It was produced by Metallica's Kirk Hammett.

6. It kicks major butt.

With all of this going for it, why hasn't anyone made a bigger deal out of it? The vocals are sung by founder Marc Biedermann who sounds like he would have been your typical progressive metal singer if his voice hadn't already been thrashed. The album has this perfect attitude of being progressive rock's revenge to punk music as it plows under any punk band with an interesting trait, talent. While it has it's weaknesses such as not the best production in the world, it only makes it sound that much more authentic, almost like it was engineered in someone's basement. This really stands out on the track called "Kamikaze", which starts off a bit more mellow (compared to the preceding tracks) and Marc's vocals really suffer here and the mixing problems really show through. Even so, the guitar is brought to the fore, which is great, because you would almost swear you were listening to very early "Metallica" guitar solos at times. But then you get the thrash sound with "faster than the speed of light" drums and killer bass and guitar to match.

Highlights that make this short album worthwhile are the track mentioned above along with "Death Noise", "Vicious Vision" and "Metamorphosis of a Monster", these songs are the most progressive as they wind there way through tempo shifts and meter changes, plus they show that this band was serious about making their crazy metal sound that was many steps above the typical hair-metal/pop-metal sounds that were around at the time. What ended up happening is an album that no one noticed would become the blueprint for future thrash metal and progressive metal bands to come, you know, the ones that are still out there even now.

The things that keep this from being a masterpiece all have to do with the mixing and production. But if you can manage to make your way past this, which is actually not that hard to do if you listen to demos and early punk/thrash music a lot, then you may not even notice this. I really wish the bass and drums were mixed better, then this would have been an essential piece of work for Progressive Metal lovers. However, once you get used to the "lo-fi" mentality of it all, it really begins to grow on you. I really need to listen to the updated versions of this album (one released in 2007 and another in 2015) and see if they are any better, but I have managed to grow used to the sound on this album that I am afraid I will end up missing that more "garage" feeling that I have become used to when listening to this. One of these days, I will find a remastered copy, I'm sure, but I will still keep my original copy, which, by the way, is quite rare now.

Unfortunately, the band would of course lose all of it's original members (except for Marc), and would have a hard time with making another album. It wouldn't be until 2010 before another album would be released, and the whole novelty of it all would be missing, along with the band line up. Sure there are rare demos out there to be found, but this album continues to be the one that needs to be heard, yet it continues to be ignored. With the legacy left behind by this band and this album, it is a shame that it is shunned by so many. Those that appreciate excellent raw talent will be able to see past the bad production and will listen to this excellent album with the respect it deserves. Of course, the longer tracks are the best, but I enjoy it all.

You can't ignore the fact that this album and this band was extremely influential for progressive thrash metal.

 The Sane Asylum by BLIND ILLUSION album cover Studio Album, 1988
3.46 | 18 ratings

The Sane Asylum
Blind Illusion Progressive Metal

Review by toroddfuglesteg

2 stars I cannot believe I am the first reviewer of this important album in the history of progressive metal. OK, it is not easy to find, but still...........

This is probably the first ever progressive thrash/black/speed/death metal album ever. Rush or even Saga may have been there first. But they were at best progressive heavy metal. The Sane Asylum is a different kettle of fish altogether.

The basis in the music Blind Illusion does is bay area thrash metal. The finest exponent of that scene is Testament. The music on The Sane Asylum can be compared to Testament's first two albums. But there is a difference. Blind Illusion sometimes venture into a landscape occupied by the likes of Queensryche and Iron Maiden. This is not a straight thrash metal album by any means. It is pretty quirky and weirdo. It is progressive metal through and through. I guess there is no surprise that half of Blind Illusion later formed Primus.

Quality wise, this is not a great album. It has some good ideas and that is all. None of the songs here has survived the test of time. It is an album well worth checking out due to it's status. Besides of that; it is best ignored. But all praise to Blind Illusion for the effort and this album.

2 stars

Thanks to J-Man for the artist addition. and to NotAProghead for the last updates

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