LUNAR – The Illusionist

Lunar - The Illusionist album cover
  • 6.7/10
    LUNAR - The Illusionist - 6.7/10


Label: Saibot Reigns Records
Release date: March 3, 2023

User Review
8/10 (1 vote)

Hailing from Sacramento, California comes the Prog/Thrash Metal recording project known as Lunar, releasing their 4th album since their inception in 2013. The Illusionist on Saibot Reigns Records brings us a very eclectic group of styles brought together under one concept, with varying degrees of success. The record features a long list of musicians who worked on the project with a wide variety of instrumentation throughout. At the helm of this small orchestra is drummer/composer Alex Bosson, who also produced the album.

About the Album

Lunar – The Illusionist tells the story of a magician that questions his entire life’s work. He’s spent his entire life devoting himself to his craft and now he questions if it was worth it. Musically the album goes through many stages as the character does on this journey of himself. The concept is that there are songs that are angry, songs that are confused, songs that are depressed, and everywhere in between. Styles on the album run the gambit from Progressive Metal with melodic vocals, to moments of Jazz, to cookie monster Thrash. Sometimes the styles seem to clash a bit, as one tune ends in heavy Thrash with growler vocals, going into a very quiet, jazzy piano. Catching the listener off guard perhaps might have been the intent, which at times works better than at others.

Final Notes

There are some good moments on the album, and it does grow on the listener with each playing. The musicianship is solid on all of the parts, with some excellent performances, notably vocalist Chandler Mogel. Overall, it feels just a little out of balance with all of the styles at times feeling mish-mashed. Still, it does warrant checking out for Prog-Metal fans that like a mix of growler and melodic vocals.

Lunar - Band Photo

Recording Lineup

  • Drums & Percussion – Alex Bosson
  • Guitars – Balmore Lemus
  • Bass – Ryan Price
  • Keyboards & Synthesizers – Alex Nasla
  • Lead Vocals – Chandler Mogel
  • Growl Vocals – Brian Lewis
  • Clarinet – Gleb Kanasevich
  • Saxophone – Patrick Corona
  • Flute & Saxophone – Jørgen Munkeby
  • Violin & Viola – Ben Karas
  • Guitar Solo – Andy Gillion (Track 2)
  • Guitar Solo – Taylor Washington (Track 3)
  • Guitar Solo – Sam Vallen (Track 5)
  • Guitar Solo – Christian Münzner (Track 7)

The Illusionist – Tracklist

  1. Prestidigitation
  2. The Illusionist
  3. Showtime
  4. Worship The Sun
  5. Turn Off The World
  6. Disassembled
  7. Juggling Chainsaws
  8. For My Next Trick
  9. Now You See Me


  • Bryce Van Patten

    Bryce is an audio engineer and a graphic designer here at Metal Express Radio. From the day he purchased his first album (Machine Head by Deep Purple), he has had a passion for heavy music, which has influenced his whole life. Bryce is from the great Pacific Northwest in USA, and has played in metal bands like Babylon, Holy Terror, The Wild Dogs, Warhead and Egypt through the 80s. He had his first interview for the Portland, Oregon publication The Rock Rag with guitarist Paul Gilbert in his Racer X days. Then he was honored to get to have drinks, and talk for an hour with the legendary Dan McCafferty of Nazareth for his second interview. In 2013, he spent an amazing hour talking to Andi Deris of Helloween, which was the high point of his heavy metal journalism.   In the year 2001, he formed Man in Black Music Publishing. They released recordings by several local bands, and in the spirit of the old Metal Massacre compilations, he created a 2-album series called The Defenders of Metal. The albums featured classic styled Metal bands from all around the world, with bands from Australia to England, and from Argentina to Russia. Currently, he is the producer/creator/vocalist of the Metal band The Black Tuesdays.

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