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Illusion - Out Of The Mist CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.46 | 68 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars The renaissance of the first Renaissance.

Think of Illusion, think of Renaissance. The history of the two bands is very much intertwined, and while the band bearing the name Renaissance came out on top in terms of success and longevity, the quality of Illusion's output should not be underestimated. Of the Renaissance line up which recorded the confusingly titled "Illusion" album and which subsequently disbanded, only the late Keith Relf is missing here. Pre-Annie Haslam vocalist Jane Relf has a fine voice not unlike Haslam's, further emphasising the similarities between the two bands.

The emphasis here is very much on strong melodies, the songs being generally straight forward yet sophisticated, with pop influences and symphonic overtones. The opening track, "Isadora" is a strong lead off piece with hints of prog, male/female vocal harmonies, and a very appealing tune. Keyboard player John Hawken provides some excellent piano here as he does throughout the album, his quasi-classical style coming through predominantly.

Elsewhere, "Everywhere you go" and "Face of yesterday" prolong the highly melodic aspect of the album, the former being a particularly uplifting song, while the latter is more in the vein of the title track from Renaissance's "Prologue" album, especially in the non-lyrical vocal sections. The closing track "Candles are burning" has obvious similarities with the title track from the previously released Renaissance album "Ashes are burning". It is by far the most progressive track, running to over 7 minutes, with a driving rhythm and soaring synthesisers, behind a Curved Air like composition. The vocals are particularly powerful here, the track making for a wonderful climax to the album.

There are a mere seven tracks in total, the second side of the LP being particularly short. The three tracks I have not mentioned continue the melodic theme, "Solo flight" being notable for its 60's West Coast pop feel.

In all, a highly enjoyable collection which will naturally appeal to those who enjoy the 70's music of Renaissance.

Easy Livin | 4/5 |


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