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Dark Illusion: Beyond the Shadows

From the suburbs of Stockholm, Sweden, comes a relatively new hard rock/metal band called Dark Illusion. As I stated in an earlier review, it is best not to judge a book by its cover. Being that Dark Illusion is from Sweden, and their CD cover of Beyond The Shadows depicts a medieval adventurer on horseback looking upwards to a castle on a frozen mountain, I was getting "Illusions" of hearing a new band similar to bands like Hammerfall, and/or Stratovarious. With words in the titles of their songs like "Knight", "Warrior", "Reaper", and "Warlord", why would I think otherwise? Instead, the band that first came to mind was Rainbow. Not the Dio-era Rainbow, mind you, but the more commercially sounding Joe Lynn Turner-era Rainbow. As I briefly go through the songs, you'll see what I mean.

"Night Knight", the first song on the CD, actually goes against my theory, as it has much more of an Iron Maiden feel, with its very Maiden-like metal gallops, and great guitar leads. The riffs and vocal patterns of "Child of the Night" and "Power of the Evil" both remind one of the Rainbow tune "Spotlight Kid". "Warrior", with its slow intro, tempo, and organ are similar to some of Rainbow's power ballads, like "Stone Cold", for example. "Reaper of Souls" through "Secret Journey" pick the pace back up with their very fast gallop, while the very clear vocals of Thomas Vikstrom give the songs a bit of a hair- metal feel to them. In a different era, "Weeper Deeper" could have even made it onto the Billboard charts, with its very commercial hard rock sound. "Sensational Walk" also falls into the power ballad category, with its acoustic guitars and vocal harmonies. As for highlights on the album, "Tragedy", "Runaway on the Loose", as well as "Reaper of Souls" through "Secret Journey", could all qualify for those into classic power metal.

Aside from all of the songs being on the short side (which is quite uncommon these days), overall I liked what I heard from Dark Illusion. Guitarist and chief songwriter Tomas Hultqvist does an admirable job with the songwriting, as well displaying his very diverse and shredding guitar style. On the drums, Jonas Ostman is equally impressive. Rounding out Dark Illusion are Niklas Tengblad on acoustic guitar and Pontus Egberg on bass. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed that Dark Illusion gives us more of a progressive and less commercially sounding offering the next time around.

Track Listing
1. Night Knight
2. Child of the Night
3. Warrior
4. Power of the Evil
5. Reaper of Souls
6. Into the Depths I Stare
7. Secret Journey
8. Weeper Deeper
9. Tragedy
10. Leave No Traces
11. Sensational Walk
12. Runaway on the Loose
13. Break The Chains
14. Warlord of the Night

Added: February 10th 2006
Reviewer: Jack Toledano
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 2902
Language: english

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