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Perfect? No. Brilliant? ..... - 100%

erickg13, February 25th, 2007

“The Sane Asylum” is a very special album, to put it plainly. It grabs you from the first note, and has total control of your mind till it lets up (sometimes, this isn’t when the album ends). But don’t let that fool you. This isn’t a perfect album, it has flaws, as do most albums. But there’s a quality that makes you enjoy those flaws, as if those flaws add more character to the album. But there is a lot more than just that behind this album.

At the time Blind Illusion released “The Sane Asylum”, they had been active in some form for about 10 years, quite an oddity for a band to release their debut album 10 years into their career. But in the case of “The Sane Asylum” it may be to its advantage. Being that Blind Illusion was a Bay Area band it is easy to understand the overwhelming thrash sound, but some of these songs date back to 1979, which creates quite a contrast to the songs written in 1988. Despite the bands thrash base, there is also a very prevalent prog rock element.

But “The Sane Asylum” never falls into the cliché trappings of thrash metal, maybe due to the fact that they sometimes sound much more comfortable playing the more experimental material.

And as said before, the production is bad, though that would be an understatement. But even on this front, the album manages to possess a great sound. What exactly does this mean? Well, this lack of production shows off the skill of the musicians, and not the prowess of the producer on the board. The only thing that really lacks is the vocals, provided by Mark Biederman. They sound very thin, and often times seem as though they are stretching to reach a note, but just can’t, and turn into a whine.

Of course, looking back on this album, there’s always the looming presence of Les Claypool and Larry Lalonde, who would, of course, go on to form the alt-rock group Primus. Though at that point of their respected careers each already had a very solid track record, with Claypool being told he couldn’t join Metallica because he was “too good”, and Lalonde was known as the guitarist of the death metal pioneers Possessed.

Each song is very much important to the whole album, and while there are standouts (“Death Noise”, “Metamorphosis of a Monster”), but each songs works with each other to create a greater whole. There are no weak songs, on this album. Each song has its own distinct qualities that make each individually great, and that individual strength

Overall, Blind Illusions sole album “The Sane Asylum” is a study of a puzzle inside a riddle. It’s one of the most interesting listens you’ll ever encounter. Find it. Buy it. And enjoy this masterpiece.