This is a sprawling, ambitious piece of work. At almost 100 minutes in length, this is a double album full of progressive delights and lesser-travelled journeys.
Taking influence from everything from the titans of 70s progressive rock to their modern day equivalents, this should easily appeal to fans of bands such as Rush, Pink Floyd, Dream Theater, Devin Townsend, Steven Wilson, etc.
The songs are complex and eclectic, showing a range of progressive influences and ideas across the long playing time. This is held together by a sense of songcraft that manages to ensure that the bulk of the material on this release remains coherent and memorable. This is even true of the colossal title track, which clocks in at an impressive 28 minutes.
Marrying progressive curveballs with anthemic choruses and catchy tunes is not the easiest thing to do, but somehow Twisted Illusion manage to make it look easy. The songs are very enjoyable and contain so much content that it takes multiple listens to even start to appreciate what they’ve put together here.
Each instrument is impressively played, including the often-neglected bass, (although as a prog release it should come as no surprise that the bassist isn’t allowed to slack off and take the easy route). Everything sounds solid and clear courtesy of the professional production too.
The singer’s voice is charismatic and strong, with enough quirkiness to show personality, but not so much that it spoils the delivery; the balance is just right. Other vocalists and styles are used here and there, enhancing the songs whenever they appear.
This is an album that gives and gives and gives the more that you listen and commit to it. It’s an impressive achievement that is equalled only by how enjoyable it is. The nature of the beast of something like this, of course, is that it has a self-limiting wider appeal, but for people into progressive rock then this really is a sublime and surprisingly soulful work.