Origin: San Francisco, California, USA  
Genres: Thrash Metal
Last update/review: November 20, 2010

Blind Illusion

Forming in 1979, Blind Illusion was an institution in the SF Bay Area for years, going through numerous lineups and musical styles (for example, at one point they were a progressive rock band). The original formation consisted of David Godfrey (later of Heathen), guitarist Mark Biedermann, bassist Alvin Petty, and drummer Bret Hern, but by the time they were ready to record in 1987, only Biedermann remained, along with drummer Mike Miner, guitarist Larry LaLonde (fresh from Possessed) and a budding eccentric bassist in one Les Claypool. The album they recorded, The Sane Asylum, was a thrash album, and a very inventive one at that, highlighted by interesting riffs and Claypool's inventive basswork that at times hinted at his future. Soon enough this lineup broke up, with LaLonde and Claypool finding fame and fortune with Primus, and Blind Illusion faded into obscurity, known as one of those one-hit wonders (as well as a trivia curiosity given the Primus connection) and leaving many wondering what might have been.

For years afterward, Biedermann lay low, occasionally doing session work for bands like the aforementioned Heathen as well as none other than Blue Oyster Cult, but Blind Illusion the band was not heard from. There was talk of releasing a long-lost second album entitled The Medicine Show that featured LaLonde and Claypool, but that never happened. Finally, in 2010, a new Biedermann-led lineup released Demon Master. Unlike many artists that return to the scene after a long absense, Biedermann apparently has no intentions of reliving past glories. Demon Master bears absolutely no resemblance to The Sane Asylum in any way, and certainly has no connection with the current thrash revival, or thrash at all. Some metal influences are present, but only some, as the band draws more from pyschedelic rock, seventies prog, blues, even some funk. Judged on its own merits, it's not bad at all, with some interesting moments and some fine guitarwork, but anyone expecting The Sane Asylum part 2 is bound to be disappointed. Then again, this is Mark Biedermann's vision, and kudos to him for doing what he wants. From a purely metallic standpoint, The Sane Asylum is enough to secure Blind Illusion's legacy.

Current Members

Mark Biedermann


Danny Harcourt


Robert Nystrom


Former Members/Guests

Larry LaLonde

guitars (ex-Possessed, Primus)

Les Claypool

bass (Primus, ex-Sausage)

Mike Miner



The Sane Asylum  
1988 Music For Nations
  1. The Sane Asylum
  2. Blood Shower
  3. Vengeance Is Mine
  4. Death Noise
  5. Kamakazi
  6. Smash The Crystal
  7. Vicious Visions
  8. Metamorphosis Of A Monster
  • Mark Biedermann
  • Larry LaLonde
  • Les Claypool
  • Mike Miner

Demon Master  
  1. Merger
  2. Mahakala
  3. Heaven's Devils
  4. Precurser - Demon Master
  5. Gargantuan
  6. Midnight in China
  7. Cajun Fang
  8. Storm Cloud
  • Mark Biedermann
  • Danny Harcourt
  • Robert Nystrom

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