Henric Blomqvist & Friends - All of Your Illusions

Henric Blomqvist & Friends All of Your Illusions cover
Henric Blomqvist & Friends
All of Your Illusions
Inverse Records
Henric Blomqvist is a Finnish guitarist that got together with a variety of different people both from Finland and from the international scene and composed 10 songs towards the release of his debut solo album entitled “All of Your Illusions”. The style is classic rock and the songs were written as collaborations between Blomqvist and various singers like: Johan Mattjus (Solid Faces, ex-Stormwing) ie “Place of Fear”, “Black Sky”, Jari Tiura (Stargazery, ex-MSG) ie “Thunderbrigade”, “Perfect Dream”, Jukka Nummi (Rainbow Shakers, Angry Machines, ex-Myon) ie “Pain That Gains”, “Till the End of Time”, “When We Were Young”, Doogie White (MSG, ex-Rainbow, Malmsteen etc.) ie “Lonely as I Am” while there are also two instrumental compositions “Plenty of Reasons” and the title track “All of Your Illusions” that concludes the album. Other participants include Jonas Kuhlberg (bass, MyGrain), Sven Wannas (Hammond & keyboards, Solid Faces, Kaos Krew, ex-Stormwing) and Roger Snellman (drums, Solid Faces, ex-Tinderbox).
As you can expect this is a shrine where all things Deep and Purple and Rainbow colored are being worshiped in the name of high Priests Blackmore, Dio, Coverdale, Hughes, Turner, White etc…. Blomqvist seems to love what he does and to have studied what he wants to do sufficiently to do it with enough finesse, so as to avoid, landing flat on his face.
Mattjus’ tracks are somewhat more straightforward to fit his somewhat more gruff voice “Place of Fear”, sounding a bit like a power metal take on Deep Purple and “Black Sky” quite bleaker, but still owing quite a bit to the black dressed figure. Without being bad, I’d say they are probably the weaker points of the album.
I will probably not be a liar if I admit to liking Tiura’s contributions the best. The epic “Thunderbrigade” has a sound almost all of its own, that obviously utilizes the same tricks and sound of the whole “school of rock thinking and composition” as everything else... but you can’t really put a finger on it, to pinpoint that it sounds like something in particular, but you can easily say that it kicks ass! By Thor’s hammer!
For “Perfect Dream” Tiura lowers his vocals to a mellower style that is more reminiscent of either early bluesy Whitesnake, or more likely MK3 Purple. Sweet. (not the band)!
Nummi, gets three tracks, and he’s no slouch, with a quite likable voice and decent songwriting. “Pain That Gains”, is a mournful ballad that probably is a bit too much self-indulgent and wallowing in self-pity, so it sort of borders a bit on parody towards the end... but if it weren’t for being  all that “dramatic” it has all the decent, “markings” of Zeppelin and His Richie Blackmoornesses... genius.
“Till the End of Time”, is somewhat reminiscent of late MK2 DP but with small pinches of the commercial rock ‘n roll appeal that Rainbow would find towards their latter days. Nummi actually sounds pretty confident here.
“When We Were Young” is lastly a bit of a modernized, and dry take on a blue theme that ends up sounding quite rocking. But here, the vocal sounds a bit forced and way too dry.
Doogie White’s song, “Lonely as I Am” opens with a heavy muddy riff, that lazily launches out of the blue and even the vocal itself sounds a little underwhelming, (maybe because of all the concerts with MSG – who knows) without being bad. Maybe it’s the mix, who knows. It’s a nice chorus thought and a nice song... with classic written all over it.
Last but not least the instrumentals “Plenty of Reasons” and “All of Your Illusions” are both quite nice, especially the latter, that features a multitude of themes and more intricate playing, from Blomqvist. All in all, the man’s training as a guitarist shows clearly. The songwriting efforts he attempted with various people vary in quality, but the results are cohesive enough, stylistically to be released in this “collection” of songs and some of them are indeed very good. I’d look out for more stuff from him in the future but would like to see him attempt something through a band.