It was released in 2002 through Sub City Records. It is the last Thrice album released on the label before it was signed to Island Records. A portion of the proceeds from the release of the album were donated to A Place Called Home, a non-profit youth center in South Central Los Angeles.
Between late June and mid-August, the group went on the 2002 edition of Warped Tour.
"The Illusion of Safety" received generally positive reviews, the average ratings on Amazon.com and iTunes are both 5 stars. Many reviews applauded the polished mix of melodic hardcore, that was heavily influenced by emotive hardcore, and punk. The album was widely praised for its buzz-saw guitar riffs, lyrical depth and song structure.