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Twisted Illusion - Insight To The Mind Of A ...
Twisted Illusion - Insight To The Mind Of A Million Faces CD Album Review

Twisted Illusion: Insight To The Mind Of ...

Progressive Rock/Metal
3.5/5.0

Formed a mere three years ago by composer, vocalist, and guitarist Matt Jones, Twisted Illusion has found some surprising success. They released their first album, Temple of Artifice in 2016 to some acclaim, and then toured extensively across the UK. Last month in August they made their first appearance at England's Bloodstock festival. Now Twisted Illusion drops their second album Insight To The Mind Of A Million Faces, a double CD album with eleven songs at nearly 140 minutes in length.

Twisted Illusion Band Photo

Twisted Illusion

There's only one word to describe this album: overwhelming. The conundrum with a long double album is whether you can be creative and engaging enough to keep the listener's interest over such a superior length of time. Alternatively, if anything, the listener gets a lot of music for his money. For me, on the first spin, by the time I got the end of the second CD, I had pretty much forgotten what happened on the first CD. But some observations can be made of the content of Insight To The Mind Of A Million Faces.

First, in composition, Matt Jones creates very guitar-centered music. The songs are long on strong and sharp riffs and an abundance of guitar solos. After this, Jones tries to bring up the melody and harmony in each song, as found in the guitar lines and vocal arrangements. Additionally, the bass line is heard in most every song. There's also a pinch of keyboards throughout, often light piano wandering along the edges. As a vocalist, Jones has some range. He sings mostly clean, melodic, and harmonious, but often in heavier songs such as Worlds Apart, I Wish I Was There, or Reflection, he can get a bit screamo caustic. When Jones goes that route in a song, which can be often, I lost interest quickly. Nevertheless, all these things are wrapped up in, generally speaking, lightly technical arrangements.

Divided between the two discs, the songs of the first CD are heavier with the riffage sharper and Jones' vocals more extreme. Against this, some songs have a juxtaposition of lighter moments and smoother vocals as with Nobody's Child and Different Light where segues brings up the piano lines. This contrast is more acute, or prominent, in the 28 minute plus title cut where vocals vary, raging riffs play against gentle segues, and tempo and time signatures twist and juggle for position.

But here's the thing: what was most memorable to me was the parts of a song, rather than the whole. In other words, no song really stood out, and so capturing my attention and interest. It's not that Jones and Twisted Illusion aren't talented and creative. No, rather they're long on creativity, but short on accessibility. Perhaps the listener needs to Insight To The Mind Of A Million Faces in smaller chunks for a better experience. Me, I don't have that much time on my hands.



CraigHartranft.net - New fiction, crime fiction by Craig Hartranft

The Bottom Line

Twisted Illusion's Insight To The Mind Of A Million Faces is long on creative melodic progressive rock and metal, but short on accessibility.

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