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Rick Miller - Heart of Darkness CD (album) cover

HEART OF DARKNESS

Rick Miller

 

Crossover Prog

3.92 | 135 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Crossover Prog Team
5 stars Less than a year after I reviewed 'Immortal Remains', here I am writing about Rick's 2014 release 'Heart of Darkness'. This is his fourth in four years, and his ninth since 2003, but there is no sign at all of him having an issue with quality control, as this one is better than his last! This is an incredibly emotive album, extremely deep and full of passion, even when there are just a few instruments being used, as it is the arrangements that really make such a difference. Guitars can be duetting with the wonderful flute of Sarah Young (whose contribution to this album cannot be overstated), or there can be just gentle drums and keyboards, all I know is that I find myself drawn into the world that he is creating time and again. Some may say that there are elements reminiscent of classic Floyd or Camel, but I also found large elements of John 'Rabbit' Bundrick, especially his 'Moccassin Warrior' albums as the flute is often used more as a native instrument than as if it were being wielded by a bug-eyed one-legged madman.

My 17 year old got into the car the other day when this was playing, and her normal reaction is to grab the ipod and choose something that she wants instead (normally Bowling For Soup), but after a few minutes she actually turned up the volume and said "you know what, this isn't bad". High praise indeed from this teenager (even though her first ever gig, at the age of 9, was The Flower Kings where she actually sat on the corner of the stage). "Castle Walls" is simply a beautiful song, with wonderful orchestrated arrangement and acoustic guitar that allows Rick to sing his heart out. I keep being reminded of some of the classic Sixties pop numbers, and could imagine The Small Faces or Cat Stevens having a go at this.

There is no doubt that this is a great album, a real breakthrough in so many ways, and now all that is needed is for others to try it out for themselves. Although this has been released on CD by Mals (www.mals.ru), it is also available for streaming or download on Bandcamp so why not get over to rickmiller.bandcamp.com and give it a listen for yourself?

kev rowland | 5/5 |

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