4 out of 5 Stars!
Prior to Japan’s Loudness (marginally) making a name for itself in America, the band released four albums in its homeland, each subsequent album better than the last. And while the first three albums featured non-English lyrics, Disillusion, however, became the first sign that Loudness was preparing an American onslaught with vocalist Minoru Niihara singing in English.
Here, also, the rest of the band truly began honing its musical dexterity. Bassist Masayoshi Yamashita and drummer Munetaka Higuchi proved they had the “slamming power” to make a formidable rhythm section, which would help to transform Loudness into an entity that could storm these shores the following year. Meanwhile, axe-wielder Akira Takasaki, whose feverish riffs, tasty fills, and lightning-quick solos on tracks such as “Esper,” “Milky Way,” “Crazy Doctor,” “Ares Lament,” and “Butterfly,” seemed destined to make him the next mega “guitar god” in the Metal genre. Indeed, his work on this album (as well as the subsequent Thunder in the East, Lightning Strikes, and Hurricane Eyes albums) had me sitting up to take notice, and he quickly shot to the top tier of my “Favorite Metal Guitarists” list, easily giving stellar artists such as Eddie Van Halen, Yngwie Malmsteen, John Sykes, George Lynch, etc. a run for the money.
Therefore, Disillusion is my favorite album from the band’s “early period” since it foreshadowed even greater things to come on the next string of aforementioned releases when the band finally broke in America.