ART OF ILLUSION – X Marks The Spot (2023 reissue + bonus) *HQ*

ART OF ILLUSION - X Marks The Spot (2023 reissue + bonus) *HQ* - lossless full

Swedish band ART OF ILLUSION formed by songwriter & producer Anders Rydholm (AORsters Grand Illusion) and exceptional singer Lars Säfsund (Work Of Art) surprised us some years ago with their delicious debut album “X Marks The Spot”. The album was released by the now defunct AOR Heaven Records, currently a hard to find CD, even more the Japanese pressing.
So the band decided to re-release ”X Marks The Spot” 2023 with the addition of the original Japanese edition bonus track for all fans rejoice.
See what they did there with the band name? Grand Illusion + Work Of Art. And they conjure the best of both bands to deliver timeless melodies which are the key into 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.
“X Marks The Spot” is simply sublime… albums of this quality only appear from time to time.

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.
HIGHLY Recommended


01 – Wild and Free
02 – Run
03 – My Loveless Lullaby
04 – Waltz for the Movies
05 – 4 Am
06 – Go
07 – Snakebite Charm
08 – Let the Games Begin
09 – A Culinary Detour
10 – Catch You If I Can
11 – Rampant Wildfire
12 – Race Against Time
13 – No Goodbyes (Japan Bonus Track)

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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