Release date: April 1, 2004

Guitars: B+
Bass: B+
Percussion: B-
Vocals: C-
Lyrics: C+
Recording Quality: C-
Originality: B
Overall Rating: C+

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Illusion of Clarity is a 5-man band from Sweden, formed initially from the remnants of the band Hellstream, and their initial EP is comprised of 3 tracks: “The World Is In Your Hands” (6:24), “The Three Fiends” (8:20), and “Rock ‘n’ Roll Soldier” (5:38). The band has a unique sound (that is marginally hindered by demo-production quality) comprised of Classic, Progressive, and Thrash Metal stylistic traits.


This 3-track EP is half awesome and half gruesome (the gruesome part will be discussed below). The awesome part starts at about the midpoint of the 2nd track when the tempo and direction shifts into an extended musical interlude. It’s bass-driven, innovative, and creatively mixes the 3 sub-genres mentioned above together. The end of this title track leads bridges the way into track 3, which is just a great song no matter how you slice it. Its predecessors, in whole or in part, respectively, suffer from either vocal or musical lack of cohesiveness, but “Rock ‘n’ Roll Soldier” has strong music, catchy lyrics, and a memorable chorus line: “Rock ‘n’ Roll Sol-dee-urh! / Rock ‘n’ Roll Sol-dee-urh!” This song, and the 2nd half of the title track, show this band indeed has curious potential.


“The World Is In Your Hands” starts out with a great opening riff, which provides an illusion to the listener that something great is on its way – it has speed, power, and purpose, and is highlighted by an extended scream — similar to Deep Purple’s “Highway Star.” The song should’ve ended at that point, because from thence forward, the vocal style completely clashes with the music, causing a very unenjoyable listen despite a pretty solid extended guitar solo effort. Track 2 continues with a similar obtrusive vocal delivery (especially on the high end), and seems to have drummer Henrik Soderlund at a disjointed pace compared to the other musicians in the first half of the song. “The Three Friends” is not a total disaster, however (for the reasons outlined above), and definitely leaves the listener on a positive note.


The band’s true potential lies in its solid guitar work, ability to crank out innovative and imaginative extended instrumental passages, and its sound … which is an interesting Classic/Progressive/Thrash Metal mixture. Vocalist Patrik Forsberg has some obvious talent too; he just needs to contain his talents within the structure of each song to ensure he “blends” with the music better. Soderlund also seems to have high levels of inspiration in his playing too, though the band should look next time into increasing the bass end sound of his kit to ensure the percussion doesn’t come through with a “hollow” feel. Look out for this band, though … they have all of the tools to create something truly special in the future … providing they can fit all of the pieces to their puzzle snuggly together!


  • Dan Skiba

    Dan is a former partner at Metal Express Radio, and also served as a reviewer, photographer and interviewer on occasions. Based out of Indianapolis, USA he was first turned on to Hard Rock music in the mid-1970s when he purchased Deep Purple's Machine Head as his first album. He was immediately enthralled with the powerful guitar sound and pronounced drumbeat, and had to get more! His collection quickly expanded to include as many of Heavy Rock bands of the time that he could get his hands on, such as Ted Nugent, Judas Priest, and Black Sabbath, to name just a few.

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