You may be familiar with the original “Illusion” CD release by Dallas, Texas, TYR if you belong to those people somehow addicted to the US Metal exploration. if you are also focused on private CD collecting then the chances to be aware of this release are even higher because “Illusion” was for years a top priority item for many CD freaks worldwide.
I can consider Texas as one of my favorite US states when it comes to Metal, but I have a very special place in my heart for Dallas. Dallas is the home for some of my favorite Melodic Heavy / Power Metal bands from the U.S. – bands like BELLICOSE, RUFF JUSTICE and TYR. I can even focus on some common musical features on many Dallas Melodic Heavy / Power Metal bands -especially on the late 80s since mid to late 90s era- but this is another story for another article.
I have been noticing many re-issues all through this re-issue age we are going through and i always asked myself “why does nobody cares to re-issue this absolute “Illusion” gem?”. Yes I am referring to TYR’s debut. Thankfully Arkeyn Steel Records came with an answer.
TYR were formed in Dallas, Texas in 1998 out of the ashes of the band Shotgun Wedding by guitarist Russel Contreras and Greg Sargent. The duo along with bassist Brian Williams and drummer Reece Stanley recruited vocalist Jim Schoville and started playing locally.
In 1999 a 5 song promotional demo was recorded and released on a small edition of 50 copies.
In the year 2000 Wayne Stokely was brought in on drums, Rick Garza on bass, Rick Fulton on keyboars and James Garza on vocals. After many shows this lineup entered Nomad Studios with producer Kol Marshall to record the “Illusion” album.
“Illusion” was first released on a very limited edition of 30 CD-r copies that were offered on a band’s show back on 2001. This edition featured a little different artwork compared to the official private pressing of 1000 copies, that was finally released on April of 2002.
Unfortunately TYR did not last long. Lineup changes plagued the band and the next few years featured many vocalist changes. In 2007 the band with vocalist Travis Wills recorded the track “You Can’t Run Forever” before their disbanding.
Fortunately the band left behind the “Illusion” opus and you know what? We are talking about a masterpiece. And I know many people that were actually after a copy knowing the musical value of this release, putting its rarity on a second place.
Arkeyn Steel Records gathered all the band’s recordings and now presents a re-release of the “Illusion” CD featuring the 1999 demo plus the unreleased 2007 track as well. Everything is remastered from scratch, never before seen photos are added, lyrics and info are completing the package, making this release the ultimate re-presentation of TYR’s saga.
Musically I will describe the band as a mixture of LEATHERWOLF, SAVATAGE and RiOT with LOTS of influences from the BLACK SABBATH’s Tony Martin era. Their songs are mainly mid tempo, focused on the Classic, Melodic Metal vibe. They are expanding their sound onto Power Metal forms, when their tunes became faster but they are doing it mainly with the QUEENSRYCHE –Warning era– vibe on their mind.
This is first class material, absolutely catchy songs, absolutely memorable vocal melodies and some really outstanding guitar lead parts. OK I was actually stuck into TYR’s material for years but now I am actually rediscovering it thanks to the amazing re master job that has been done. Is this justice to a masterpiece? Yes it is.
This is a very important re-issue IMO. It brings back in daylight an out of print release that has firstly and foremost real musical value. The bonus tracks are completing the pack and now you can have everything that this amazing band ever recorded in one CD. Grab the booklet, study the lyrics, examine the -never seen before- photos and follow the saga of band that carried some REAL talent. May i ask how many talented bands have you heard recently?
February, 18th is the official release date. You can pre-order “Illusion” re-issue from here.