"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.
Other than being their first platinum-selling album, The Grand Illusion led Styx steadfastly into the domain of AOR rock. Built on the strengths of "Come Sail Away"'s ballad-to-rock metamorphosis, which gained them their second Top Ten hit, and on the high harmonies of newcomer Tommy Shaw throughout "Fooling Yourself," The Grand Illusion introduced Styx to the gates of commercial stardom. The pulverized growl of "Miss America" reveals the group's guitar-savvy approach to six-string rock, while De Young pretentiously struts his singing prowess throughout the title track. Shaw's induction into the band has clearly settled, and his guitar work, along with James Young's, is full and extremely sharp where it matters most. Even the songwriting is more effluent than Crystal Ball, which was released one year earlier, shedding their mystical song motifs for a more audience-pleasing lyric and chord counterpoise. Reaching number six on the album charts, The Grand Illusion was the first to display the gelled accomplishments of both Tommy Shaw and Dennis De Young as a tandem.
The band was formed in 1973 by guitarist Gary Boyle and also featured Jeff Clyne on bass, Brian Miller on keyboards and Nigel Morris on drums. Jeff Clyne had previously played with Ian Carr’s Nucleus, whilst Gary Boyle had played with Stomu Yamashta’s East Wind. Isotope’s self titled debut album was released in early 1974 and continued the tradition of Jazz Rock fusion that had been pioneered by acts such as Tony Williams Lifetime and The Mahavishnu Orchestra. Although critically acclaimed, Brian Miller and Jeff Clyne departed Isotope shortly after the debut album had appeared and were replaced by former Soft Machine bassist Hugh Hopper and keyboard player Laurence Scott. This line-up recorded the excellent album Illusion…
A special compilation of rare tracks to celebrate the band's 25th anniversdry. Including the brand-new track 'Loneliness Remains' & newly recorded 'Gothic 2013', 'Our Saviour 2013'