"Lethal Illusion", the 1997 release from the long running Swedish hard rock/heavy metal band 220 Volt, was the band's fifth overall album and their first release in nearly a decade. There are elements to the band's sound that remind at times of Treat, Baltimoore, Legs Diamond, and even Warrant. A pair of early 220 Volt demos from 1982 are tacked on to the end of Lethal Illusion. These demos ("Prisoner of War" and "Sauron"), are very rough, very metal, and would have made for a great Neat Records 7" during the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) scene.
Swedes 220 VOLT released three quite good albums at the beginning of the '80s, with a classic Euro metal sound similar to the first Europe. But in the middle of the decade, their recording label saw a strong potential in 220 Volt to be launched on the prosperous American market. "Eye To Eye" was the result, and if you never heard this album you're missing something great. With the extremely talented Max Norman (Ozzy, Coney Hatch, Y&T) producing, mixing and engineering, 220 Volt obtained a punchy, glossy, awesome polished sound ready to conquer the world.
Two dozen rare B-sides from Stax Records’ “blue” period, many reissued for the first time. An enormous and impressive undertaking, “The Complete Stax-Volt Singles 1959-68” box set was issued in 1991. While pleased with its content, hardcore collectors were nevertheless disappointed that it was not as “complete” as it claimed to be, as it featured all the A-sides and only selected B-sides. While highly welcome, its release left more than 100 of approximately 225 “blue period” Stax and Volt B-sides un-reissued in any form. Several of those sides have since featured on CD compilations, either as individual tracks here and there or on Kent’s recent “The Other Side Of The Trax”, but that still left many awaiting reissue. Fortunately, the success of “The Other Side Of The Trax” has warranted this second volume. The 24 tracks here span almost the whole of Stax Records’ blue period, as far back as when the label was still called Satellite.
"Dark Hours" represents what this band is all about: great riffs, diesel-fueled rhythms, and spectacular melodies. The band sets its sights on the target and annihilates it every time. Few do it better. This album immediately grabs you by the hair and bangs your head around the room. There have been a number of appearances with Iced Earth, Saxon and Nevermore, and its fair to say that if you like these bands, you will definitely be getting into this new album from these Swedish chaps.