The first thing that sparks my interest of Dark Illusion is the inclusion of Thomas Vikstrom behind the mic. The talented singer really capable of handling anything, from the doomy Candlemass to the symphonic Therion and even to the melodic Covered Call. The band's history itself was actually started in 1982 but dissolved quickly after three years before the guitarist/mastermind Tomas Hultqvist decided to gather the ashes in 2003 and released their debut, "Beyond The Shadows", in 2005.
"Where The Eagles Fly" marks the second chapter of their career and though it's a fresh release, the composition's style actually goes back to the late 80s - early 90s which is quite similar to the classic Helloween, Stratovarius, or Edguy. "My Heart Cries Out For You" is a nice starter, the verse and chorus combination is flawless, nothing new but definitely a pleasant gift for long time power metal fans, especially when Vikstrom finished the song with a high scream, reminds them of Michael Kiske at his prime age. "Pay The Price" also puts Vikstrom under the spotlight with his soaring vocal, a thrilling track and one of the best they made.
"Running Out of Time" has a great start, the chorus is good, but can be better, that also goes with "Spellbound", the rhythm is tight, the solos are beautiful, but somehow there's something small missing there. "Evil Masquerade" is definitely weighed with a heavy Dio influence, a bold attempt to vary the music. Couple other good tracks are "Dark Journey" and "Only The Strong Will Survive" while "Destiny's Call" and "Epic" are average at best.
Many songs are in good shape, nothing's bad in sight, but somehow the most memorable and outstanding tunes are only a few. To compete in the wilderness, Dark Illusion needs to up the ante in their next release, but with great performances from Vikstrom, Pontus Egberg (ex-Lion's Share), and Tomas Hultqvist, "Where The Eagles Fly" is a delightful treat for power/heavy metal fans.
Bottomline : A safe power metal trip to the past!