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Art And Illusion

Eclectic Prog

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Art And Illusion Art and Illusion album cover
3.38 | 7 ratings | 2 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1990

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Memories (the fire from within)
2. The eternal mask
3. Soliloquy no. 4
4. the door in the mirror
5. Soliloquy no. 3
6. Art or Illusion?
7. Soliloquy no. 2
8. Lost in time:
a) lost in time (opening section)
b) the sandwatch (1st part)
c) escape from the mirror
d) behind the mirror (excerpt)
e)the sandwatch (2nd part)
f) lost in time (closing section)
9. Exit
10. Soliloquy no. 1 (including "goodbye miss light")

Line-up / Musicians

- Luca Sabia / vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards and drum programming
- Fabio Antonelli / classic guitar

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
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ART AND ILLUSION Art and Illusion ratings distribution

(7 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(29%)
Good, but non-essential (29%)
Collectors/fans only (29%)
Poor. Only for completionists (14%)

ART AND ILLUSION Art and Illusion reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Competent

Italian band Art and Illusion's eponymous first album was in fact originally intended as a demo, only being officially released on CD some years later.

For a band founded in the tribute arena, the music is surprisingly assured and confident, if largely unoriginal. With the line up at this stage consisting only of founder Luca Sabia and classical guitarist Fabio Antonelli, the sound is generally light and acoustic, a point emphasised by the four brief "Soliloquy" interludes, which bizarrely appear in reverse order. These give the album an ANTHONY PHILLIPS feel; rather appropriate in view of their GENESIS tribute band history.

Sabia's slightly quivering vocals may be an acquired taste, but there is no doubt he is a competent singer, veering towards the operatic, or at least tenor singer at times.

The feature track is the multi-part "Lost in time" which, while pleasant, hardly justifies its numerous separately titled sections. The piece is largely of the same pace, with little variation in melody or sound.

In all, a decent if lightweight demo which whets the appetite for future albums by the band, but is far from essential in itself. The complete album is currently available for free download at the band's website, linked to via their page on this site.

Review by Neu!mann
4 stars So far, this minor but engaging Italian outfit has been unfairly dismissed on their pages here at Prog Archives. And too bad, because the band's 1990 debut is a genuine diamond in the rough: unpolished, only semi-professional, but with enough promise to easily merit a second listen.

At this stage the band was more a solo project of the multi-talented Luca Sabia (handling all the instruments except classical guitar), and his album presents a not unpleasant blend of radio-friendly Neo Prog with retro-70s stylings. The influence of early GENESIS looms large (of course), but the music is far enough removed from its source of inspiration to at least sound halfway original.

The gentle, pastoral melodies, arranged with disarming homemade simplicity for keyboards and (mostly acoustic) guitar, sometimes even achieve a quasi-symphonic fullness reminiscent of the best MARILLION: check out the melancholy title track, or the 13+ minute mini-epic "Lost In Time" (the title is a reference to Rutger Hauer's dying speech in the film "Blade Runner"). You would never guess the album to be Italian; the Anglo-American sound and English language lyrics place it well outside the mainstream of Rock Progressivo Italiano.

The iffy audio quality is a liability, sounding as if the master tapes had deteriorated over time. But look on the bright side: the background hiss does help to mask the artificial drum programming (later albums would employ an actual percussionist). And at least the price is right. All three Art and Illusion albums (and sundry other miscellany: covers of PETER GABRIEL, VAN DER GRAAF and NICK CAVE songs) can be downloaded free of charge from the band's website: an ingratiating act of rare cyber-charity worth a round of applause all by itself.

Consider it an official bootleg perhaps, or a demo package never intended for public sale. Just ignore the production flaws, and concentrate on the music itself, with an open pair of ears.

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