ART OF ILLUSION – X Marks The Spot (2021) *EXCLUSIVE*

ART OF ILLUSION - X Marks The Spot (2021) full

Released via AOR Heaven Records, “X Marks The Spot” is the debut album from the new Swedish band ART OF ILLUSION formed by songwriter & producer Anders Rydholm (AORsters Grand Illusion) and exceptional singer Lars Säfsund (Work Of Art). See what they did there with the band name? Very clever.
Timeless melodies are the key in their music and a homage to the glory days of AOR / melodic rock. Catchy melodies, delicious hooklines and tons of strong harmony vocals are on ‘spot’ here. Among the guitarists providing guitar solos there’s the unique Jay Graydon.

All songs here are pure gold: from driving melodic rockers to smooth AOR, varied, captivating.
There are shades of Toto and Work Of Art on ‘Run’, then on ‘Snakebite Charm’ you have a neat piece of modern melodic rock – definite shades of Grand Illusion’s love of backing vocal arrangements on here. They can rock out too, just listen to the fast paced ‘Go’ which features some top guitar soloing.

‘Let The Games Begin’ mixes pomp and AOR to good effect, reminiscent of Queen meets Robbie Valentine with lots thrown into the mix musically, and a again emphasis on the vocals and their arrangements. Impressive.
‘My Loveless Lullaby‘ is a very smooth ballad where Lars vocals shine, then if you need classic Scandi AOR ‘Catch Me If You Can’ is priceless.

We have more, different ideas on songs like ‘Waltz For The Movies’, recalling cult prog/pomp band A.C.T. mixed with Queen, and the playful ‘A Culinary Detour‘ where the quality of arrangements leaves you breathless.
Then ‘Rampant Wildfire’ kills, where Lars excels with his high vocal notes in a Goran Edman style and a monster chorus.

You can’t really go wrong when two talents in the Scandi melodic rock scene combine as on here.
Hopefully Grand Illusion and Work Of Art will continue alongside Art Of Illusion as there is easily room for all three: these guys turn into gold everything they touch.

“X Marks The Spot” is simply sublime. Yeah, we’re only in January but this is – and will be – one of the best 2021 Melodic Rock / AOR releases.
Albums of this caliber only appear from time to time… go and buy this gem.


1. Wild And Free
2. Run
3. My Loveless Lullaby
4. Waltz For The Movies
5. 4 AM
6. Go
7. Snakebite Charm
8. Let The Games Begin
9. A Culinary Detour
10. Catch You If I Can
11. Rampant Wildfire
12. Race Against Time

Lars Säfsund – lead & backing vocals, keyboards
Anders Rydholm – keyboards, bass, rhythm guitar
Frank Nilsson – drums
Per Svensson – backing vocals
guitar solos:
Jay Graydon
Muris Varajic
Kristian Larsen
Pelle Holmberg
Daniel Rydholm
Frank Nilsson


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1 Response

  1. Fred Lins says:

    Great Album. Thanks.

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