Chastain - Mystery of Illusion 12" Vinyl LP Album

"Mystery of Illusion," the debut studio revelation by heavy metal maestros Chastain, resonates on a 12" Vinyl LP Album. Produced by Mike Varney, this album is a foundational chapter in the band's discography. Released as a testament to Chastain's musical prowess, it showcases their distinctive sound and sets the stage for their enduring presence in the heavy metal genre. "Mystery of Illusion" marks the beginning of Chastain's journey, leaving an indelible imprint on the landscape of heavy metal.


large album front cover photo of: Chastain Mystery of Illusion

Music Genre:

Heavy Metal Music

Collector's info:

"Mystery of Illusion" was Chastain's debut album

Album Production: 

Produced by Peter Marrino

Peter Marrino is an American Singer and record producer. He has sung in the bands Cacophony and "Le Mans". During the 1980's he has produced albums for "Trauma", "Chastain", "Phantom Blue", 9.0, "Flipper", "Ron Keel´s Fair Game".

Executive Producer: Mike Varney

Recording and mixing engineer: Stephen Fontano

Steve "Boom" Fontano, born Stephen M. Fontano, is an esteemed American producer, sound engineer, and mixer who has left an indelible mark on the music industry. Known for his exceptional work in the realm of 1980s Heavy Metal, Fontano has collaborated with numerous iconic bands, showcasing his unparalleled talent and contributing to the creation of several groundbreaking albums.


Born and raised in the United States, Fontano's passion for music developed at an early age. Fascinated by the intricate technicalities of sound engineering, he embarked on a journey to master his craft. With dedication and a keen ear for detail, Fontano honed his skills and quickly gained recognition for his exceptional abilities in the studio.

In the vibrant era of 1980s Heavy Metal, Fontano rose to prominence as a sought-after producer and sound engineer. His extensive discography is a testament to his immense talent and his significant contributions to the genre. He has had the privilege of working with some of the most influential bands of that time, elevating their sound to new heights.

One of Fontano's notable collaborations was with the iconic band W.A.S.P. Known for their theatrical performances and energetic music, W.A.S.P. entrusted Fontano with capturing their raw power and intensity in the studio. Together, they crafted albums that resonated with fans worldwide, leaving an indelible impact on the Heavy Metal scene.

Fontano's expertise extended beyond W.A.S.P., as he lent his talents to numerous other acclaimed bands. Racer X, Apocrypha, Chastain, Hexx, M.A.R.S, David T. Chastain, and Tony MacAlpine are among the notable acts that benefited from his technical prowess and creative input. Fontano's skillful mixing and production played a crucial role in shaping the sonic landscape of these albums, showcasing his versatility and adaptability as a producer.

Throughout his career, Fontano consistently demonstrated a commitment to excellence and a deep understanding of the nuances of Heavy Metal music. His meticulous attention to detail, coupled with his ability to capture the essence of each band's unique sound, made him a trusted collaborator in the industry. Artists relied on his expertise to translate their artistic vision into sonic masterpieces, resulting in albums that are celebrated to this day.

Steve Fontano's impact on the world of Heavy Metal cannot be overstated. His work has stood the test of time, and his contributions continue to inspire generations of music enthusiasts and professionals. His dedication, technical expertise, and creative vision have firmly established him as one of the most accomplished producers, sound engineers, and mixers in the history of Heavy Metal music.

Recorded at Prairie Sun Studios, Cotati, CA.

"Prairie Sun Recording Studios" In the world of music, recording studios play a vital role in capturing the essence and creativity of artists. Two prominent studios, Prairie Sun Recording Studios and Fantasy Studios, have made their mark in the industry by providing exceptional recording experiences and producing award-winning albums. Prairie Sun, located in California, and Fantasy Studios, situated in Berkeley, have both contributed significantly to the musical landscape, attracting renowned artists from various genres.


Prairie Sun Recording Studios, nestled in the heart of California, has been a hub for heavy metal music during the 1980s. Its state-of-the-art facilities and exceptional engineering have drawn numerous bands seeking to capture their raw energy and power. Bands like Chastain, Exodus, Laaz Rockit, and Vicious Rumours have graced the studios with their presence, utilizing the studio's capabilities to create some of the genre's most iconic albums.

One of the defining features of Prairie Sun is its commitment to providing artists with a comfortable and conducive environment for the creative process. The studio's unique design, incorporating natural surroundings and ample natural light, allows artists to feel at ease while recording. This relaxed atmosphere often translates into the music, as artists are able to fully immerse themselves in their work, resulting in authentic and powerful performances.

Furthermore, Prairie Sun's dedication to delivering top-notch audio quality sets it apart from other recording studios. The studio houses cutting-edge equipment and employs experienced engineers who possess a deep understanding of the nuances of heavy metal music. These professionals work closely with the artists, ensuring that every element of the music is captured with precision and clarity. As a result, Prairie Sun has become renowned for its exceptional sound production and mixing capabilities.

Moving on to Fantasy Studios, situated in Berkeley's Zaentz Media Center, the studio has earned a reputation for its role in recording award-winning albums. Initially built as a private recording studio for artists on the Fantasy Records label in 1971, it opened its doors to the public in 1980. Since then, it has become a go-to destination for musicians across various genres, including rock, pop, and punk.

Fantasy Studios holds an illustrious history of producing chart-topping albums that have resonated with audiences worldwide. Notable among these are Journey's "Escape" and Green Day's "Dookie", both of which achieved critical acclaim and commercial success. The studio's commitment to excellence is reflected in its state-of-the-art facilities and talented team of engineers and producers, who work tirelessly to ensure the highest quality recordings.

Beyond its technical prowess, Fantasy Studios boasts a unique atmosphere that fosters creativity and collaboration. Its spacious recording rooms and comfortable lounges provide artists with a comfortable environment to explore their musical ideas. The studio's acoustics are meticulously designed to capture the nuances of different instruments and vocal performances, allowing artists to realize their artistic vision with precision and authenticity.

Moreover, Fantasy Studios' location in Berkeley adds to its allure. The vibrant and diverse music scene in the surrounding area serves as a constant source of inspiration for artists who choose to record at the studio. The city's rich cultural history and artistic community create a stimulating backdrop, enhancing the creative process and often influencing the music itself.

Georg Horn - Mastering Engineer

George Horn is a highly acclaimed Chief Mastering Engineer known for his exceptional work at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, California, as well as his contributions as a mastering engineer at CBS Studios in San Francisco. Renowned for his expertise and meticulous attention to detail, Horn has played a pivotal role in shaping the sound of numerous heavy metal albums, collaborating frequently with industry stalwarts such as Steve Fontano, Dino Alden, and Guy Aitchison.


Born with an innate passion for music, George Horn's journey in the world of audio engineering began early on. Growing up in a musically inclined family, he was exposed to various genres and instruments, which fueled his curiosity and desire to understand the technical aspects of sound. His fascination with the process of capturing and enhancing audio quality led him to pursue a formal education in audio engineering and mastering.

After completing his studies, Horn embarked on his professional career at CBS Studios in San Francisco, where he honed his skills under the guidance of seasoned engineers. During his tenure there, he had the opportunity to work on a diverse range of projects, gaining invaluable experience and establishing a reputation for his exceptional ear for sound.

Horn's true breakthrough came when he joined the esteemed team at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, California. As the Chief Mastering Engineer at this iconic studio, he oversaw the final stage of the production process, meticulously fine-tuning the sound of countless albums. It was here that he forged significant partnerships with renowned heavy metal producers and engineers, including Steve Fontano, Dino Alden, and Guy Aitchison.

The collaboration between George Horn and these industry luminaries proved to be a winning formula, resulting in numerous highly acclaimed heavy metal albums that captured the hearts of fans worldwide. Their combined expertise and creative synergy pushed the boundaries of the genre, delivering powerful and sonically rich recordings that defined the sound of many iconic bands.

With a keen understanding of the nuances of heavy metal music, George Horn's mastering work brought out the best in each album he touched. His acute attention to detail ensured that every element of the music, from the thunderous guitars to the pounding drums and soaring vocals, was presented with exceptional clarity, power, and balance. His precise and artistic approach to mastering contributed greatly to the overall impact and emotional resonance of the final product.

Throughout his career, George Horn has received widespread acclaim for his contributions to the music industry. His work has earned him multiple awards and nominations, solidifying his reputation as one of the finest mastering engineers in the business. Beyond heavy metal, he has also worked on a diverse range of genres, demonstrating his versatility and adaptability as an engineer.

George Horn's dedication to his craft and unwavering commitment to excellence have made him a trusted figure in the world of audio engineering. His contributions to heavy metal music, in particular, have left an indelible mark on the genre, influencing the way it sounds and ensuring its enduring popularity.

Today, George Horn continues to push the boundaries of audio engineering, constantly seeking new ways to enhance the sonic experience. His passion for music and unwavering pursuit of sonic perfection have made him a revered figure among musicians, producers, and fellow engineers alike. Through his remarkable work, George Horn has undoubtedly shaped the landscape of heavy metal and left an enduring legacy in the realm of audio mastering.

Album cover art by: Lionel Baker II

Record Label Information:

Roadrunner RR 9742 / Shrapnel Records

Media Format:

12" Vinyl LP Gramophone

Year & Country:

1985 Made in Holland
Band Members and Musicians on: Chastain Mystery of Illusion
    Band-members, Musicians and Performers
  • Leather Leone - vocals
  • David T. Chastain - guitars
  • Mike Skimmerhorn - bass
  • Fred Coury - drums

Leather Leone is a female American Heavy Metal singer and has been vocalist with the bands Chastain, "Rude Girl".

David T. Chastain an American musician, composer, and record producer from Atlanta, Georgia. He is best known as the founder and lead guitarist of the band CJSS (Chastain, James Murphy, David T. Chastain), which was active in the 1980s and 1990s. He has also released solo albums and collaborated with other musicians in the heavy metal and neoclassical metal genres.

Chastain began playing guitar at a young age and formed his first band, Chastain, in the early 1980s. The band released several albums and gained a following in the heavy metal scene. In the late 1980s, Chastain formed CJSS with James Murphy and released several albums together.

In the 1990s, Chastain released several solo albums and collaborated with other musicians in the heavy metal and neoclassical metal genres. He also founded the record label Leviathan Records, which released albums by other heavy metal and neoclassical metal artists.

Chastain continues to release music and tour as a solo artist and with various bands. He is also a music teacher and has released instructional guitar videos.

Fred Coury is an American drummer, who has performed in Chastain (1984-1985), London (1985) and Cinderella (1986-Today).
Track Listing of: Chastain Mystery of Illusion
  • Black Knight 03:21
  • When the Battle's Over 03:42
  • Mystery Of Illusion 04:31
  • I've Seen Tomorrow 03:01
  • Endlessly 03:25
  • I Fear No Evil 04:37
  • Night Of The Gods 05:09
  • We Shall Overcome 03:53
  • The Winds Of Change 05:17
Album cover photos of : Chastain Mystery of Illusion
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High Resolution Photo Album Front Cover of CHASTAIN - Mystery of Illusion
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High Resolution Photo Album Back Cover of CHASTAIN - Mystery of Illusion
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Enlarged High Resolution Photo of the Record's label CHASTAIN - Mystery of Illusion  

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