Released: 2009, Battlefield Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
The Swedish hard rock and heavy/power metal act Dark Illusion has returned among us with their 2nd album called WHERE THE EAGLES FLY, after 4 years. The band´s previous, debut album BEYOND THE SHADOWS - released in 2005, took me by a very positive surprise with its strongly 80s flavored vibe in it, Dark Illusion borrowing its fair bits here and there from bands like Rainbow, Priest, Maiden, Dio, Saxon and so on, musically.
It comes no surprise that the band´s 2nd album upliftingly continues to harvest the same familiar musical elements that they actually harvested so successfully already on BEYOND THE SHADOWS.
If the band´s guitarist Tomas Hultqvist was responsible for writing most of the songs for Dark Illusion´s debut album, for the band´s new record, he has written all 10 songs by himself. But he certainly knows how to make catchy and simple songs that basically manage to grab listeners´ attention in the first listen already, which should tell something about Tomas´ skills as a very good songwriter.
Without even going much into the details of the songs on WHERE..., the whole album is a very easy listen, simply catching many of those essential elements that need to be there in a song structure that reach your personal level of interest. I mean, all those catchy and mind-sticking choruses, strong melody lines, strong vocals, striking solos and all that stuff that make you stick to albums like Dark Illusion´s WHERE THE EAGLES FLY appears to be. Listening to the songs off this release, it could be said that they obey one rule: Keep the things simple enough, and just stick to the old guns if that is something that you can do best. Dark Illusion carry their concept for a traditional hard rock and heavy metal (with some occasional power metal parts sticking out from here and there) well and skilfully - and Mr. Hultqvist can truly look at the mirror and say proudly that he has really accomplished something remarkably good on the 2nd Dark Illusion album content-wise.
I don´t mind personally at all if it will take another 4 years to wait for the next Dark Illusion album as long as they (or Toman Hultqvist) can maintain this high and catchy song writing level in the future, too. Again, Dark Illusion has succeeded where so many other bands of similar ink, have failed: recorded a plateful of nicely catchy 80s-tinged hard rock and heavy metal songs that get your immediate attention right away. A very recommended album here from Dark Illusion... once again.