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Shylock – Welcome To Illusion [2004]


This album was my introduction to the music of melodic hard rockers `Shylock’, since becoming one of my favorite German bands of the genre; “Welcome to illusion” is their 3rd album originally released in 2004. “Shylock” actually a significant number of trademarks of German hard rock that often bring to mind better known bands of the genre, still their technical and composing ability often surpasses these glorified bands.

Immediately one identifies that the album is hugely produced with tremendous rhythm section and extra thick rhythm guitars. The vocals are very reminiscent of bands like “Bonfire” and “Jaded Heart”; finally there is also a very melodic essence to the band as guitar leads harmonize with the vocal melodies reaching the very definition of melodic hard rock. Overall one could claim that “Shylock” is considerably heavier than the average melodic hard rock band, yet that is to be excepted as German hard rock, for its biggest part, is recognized for being somewhat heavier that the international scene. Never the less, the album’s melodic lines, catchy choruses and very polished mastering are bound to make “Welcome to illusion” a rather easy listener even for non hard rock fans.

The line up features the incredible vocal talents of Matthias Schenk, powerhouse guitar team of Johannes Lohr and Stefan Appel, the robust rhythm section of Helmuth Welther and Steven Wussow plus the melodic contribution of key player Matthias Appel.

The particular release holds 15 tracks, all being exceptional pieces of melodic hard rock, very well planned, ideally executed and perfectly produced. There are no fillers on the album, nor anything that could be considered as unnecessary or uninteresting. Favorite tracks include “Welcome to illusion”, “Closer”, “But I like it”, “Middle of paradise”, “Lose you”, “Guilty” and “Hard to hold on”.

Overall “Shylock-Welcome to Illusion” is an exemplary melodic hard rock album that introduces new quality standards for the genre in terms of songwriting, performance and production. A guarantee for any fan of melodic hard rock and an absolute must for fans of “Bonfire”, “Jaded Heart”, “Frontline” and “S.I.N.”.

Band Members
Helmuth Welther – Drums
Johannes Löhr – Guitars, Backing Vocals
Matthias Appel – Keyboards
Matthias Schenk – Vocals
Stefan Appel – Guitars, Backing Vocals
Steven Wussow – Bass

01. Welcome To Illusion (4:12)
02. Closer (3:50)
03. Revolution (3:20)
04. But I Like It (3:56)
05. Darkness (3:53)
06. Middle Of Paradise (3:55)
07. Lose You (4:23)
08. Out In The Streets (3:24)
09. World Of The Lonely (3:34)
10. Late Night Show (5:19)
11. The Need (3:47)
12. Tomorrow (4:21)
13. Guilty (3:33)
14. Hard To Hold On (4:06)
15. I Will Come Back (2:18)

Nikiforos V. Skoumas

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