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Blind Illusion > 2018 > Reviews
Blind Illusion - 2018

A Little Less Disillusioned - 70%

Evil_Carrot, June 3rd, 2019

It’s been a tough decade and a half to be a Blind Illusion fan. Considering Mark Bidermann’s return with the disappointing Demon Master, the strange caps lock online rants, band members looking for fans to give rides to their own gigs, and the nearly incoherent YouTube videos, I wouldn’t blame anyone for not holding out for anymore solid music from this band. But if you held out this whole time, I’d say the wait has… maybe kind of paid off sort of a little.

The 2018 EP is a mix of two re-recorded tracks from The Sane Asylum, one track that I believe to be new, and one track that I know is an unreleased song from before The Sane Asylum. And if that sounds like a mixed bag, it kind of is.

I’ll start by saying that both of the re-recordings are fine. Neither is replacing the Sane Asylum versions, but both show the new line up’s ability to keep pace with the older lineup, while making a few updates instrumentally. Both keep the general spirit of the original, and although Mark can’t sing quite as aggressively as he once could, his naturally rough voice still works well with the band’s rough, DIY sound. Run With the Wizard is a song I've heard the band used to play live, but was never formally released. It's less thrashy than the Sane Asylum re-recordings, but still is a good speed metal song that works well with the old school progressive thrash songs that close the EP.

The Ice Sage is kind of the sore thumb sticking out here. This song still has some of the plodding that Mark Biedermann explored on Demon Master, although it isn’t nearly as self-indulgent. The strange part is that at nearly the three minute mark the already somewhat unfocused song completely shifts direction and turns into a really good thrash idea for a couple minutes before becoming a kind of dazed, confused amalgamation of both ideas. Ultimately, it has some good ideas, but it feels strange that it makes the listener wait 3 minutes before it goes anywhere. It has potential. It's not a bad song, but it maybe could have used a bit more work.

The production isn't exactly great, and not in the way that it sort of worked on The Sane Asylum. That album had a raw production whereas this album just sounds mixed badly. Mark's vocals are just drowned under the instrumentals on Run With The Wizard and throughout the EP the bass is often a little too loud when the focus should be on the guitar. It's not awful, but it doesn't really seem like everything is as clear or well mixed as it could be.

This EP has shown that the band is capable of playing and still have a great back catalog of unreleased old songs to show us, but there may still be a few little hiccups in songwriting. Hopefully, if a new album is on the horizon, the new material will be tighter. Unfortunately, due to the short running time and half of the songs being old material, I can’t say this deserves an incredible score, but this is a small victory that may help some fans hold on to hope for the future. If you're new to the band, go for The Sane Asylum instead, but if you're already a fan, this is worth giving a shot.