Henric Blomqvist & Friends - 'All Of Your Illusions'

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Henric Blomqvist & Friends - 'All Of Your Illusions'

A showcase of Henric Blomqvist's tenacity as well as his talents as both a composer and player.

Henric Blomqvist's biography is an interesting story where his true passion (electric guitar) was, for many years, curbed by an intensive study of traditional, gut-stringed classical guitar. After multiple bands and a few false starts, his debut album, 'All Of Your Illusions' has been finally realized.

Although the production is not as crisp as what many have come to expect, '... Illusions' has a very organic and unprocessed sound that harks back to early Whitesnake (pre 'Slide It In'), 1970s-era Scorpions, Shenker-era UFO and Uriah Heep. Blomqvist is unquestionably an accomplished electric guitar player. With regards to his solos, his sense of phrasing, emotion, melody and composition are consistent throughout and each song features some stellar fret-board mastery.

The title track and 'Plenty Of Reasons' are the only instrumentals on the album, yet both fail to add any additional texture or personality. Additionally, with so much time dedicated to the study of classical guitar, I am bemused as to why that chapter of his musical development was completely ignored.

The mélange of vocalists (of which there are four) provides diversity but ultimately impedes the album's flow. That said, the album features some rather enjoyable songs and 'Till The End Of Time' and 'When We Were Young' are the standouts. Both tracks feature vocalist Jukka Nummi which delivers something that would fit well into Badlands' later catalog or Oni Logan's Bluesier endeavors.

The rhythm section is comprised of musicians that Blomqvist has worked with over the years and delivers a solid backbone for the songs. Essentially, HB&F is a dream which has materialized out of sheer passion and determination. It is that very impassioned spirit and dedication to one's craft that stands to be an inspiration to any artist, regardless of discipline.

Despite its shortcomings, 'All Of Your Illusions' is a showcase of Henric Blomqvist's tenacity as well as his talents as both a composer and player. Hopefully, this album will be a springboard for him to recruit a band with a singular front-man and achieve a more cohesive sound and vibe with his next effort.

Brent Rusche

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