Thursday, September 24, 2015

SAGA: "The Security Of Illusion" (Reissue)

Rating: Re-issue
Label: earMUSIC 2015
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

The ninth studio Saga album "The Security of Illusion" was originally released 1993 and marks the return of Jim Gilmour (keyboards) and Steve Negus (drums). The remastered in 2015 reissue includes extensive liner notes, all lyrics, and the two live bonus tracks (Scratching The Surface - 'Heads Or Tales', 1983. Ice Nice - from their 1978 debut) have absolutely nothing in common with the original release.

If predecessors (Wildest Dream, The Beginner's Guide To Throwing Shapes) were thought of as hi-tech and perhaps a tad too poppy (I really enjoy both albums though), this album reek of meaty guitar riffs and your slightly harder rock illusion. That's merely in comparison to earlier Saga and don't go thinking it's heavy or hard as in metal. There's plenty of typical passages and arrangements that only Saga could come up with and there's even the classically-influences instrumental piece (Viola). However, guitarist Ian Crichton spoke out about the sound and I quote, "Indeed, there's a lot of guitar on the record. I played my ass off. It's the most guitar-heavy record Saga have done to date", end quote.

I personally think of Illusion as a tiny step in the wrong direction and not as proggy as expected. Nonetheless. The majority of tracks hit the spot and there's enough here to convince people that Saga had still a purpose in the nineties. But let's face it, most rock acts of the past struggled in those days and Saga were at a low point of their career. Simply remove the dodgy 'Stand Up' (cheesy shout-refrain) and 'Days Like These', you'd still end up with a more than a decent Saga album.

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