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Dark Aether Project - The Gentle Art Of Fire Walking CD (album) cover


Dark Aether Project


Eclectic Prog

2.98 | 5 ratings

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2 stars Third shuffling in the Maryland band's line-up for this, probably their most cohesive effort. As a pupil of Robert Fripp's Guitar Craft school, leader/Warr Guitarist Adam Levin reflects his guru with pride and a little prejudice. There are also nods to other heavy progsters like Rush and Saga. Unfortunately this record needs a shot of vitamin B 12 and maybe some black coffee. The music is solid but the energy is low, and one keeps waiting for things to take off. They never really do.

The plodding arpeggio of 'Crossing the Threshold' starts things with a whimper and grows into a somewhat interesting space voyage with some nice drumming by Allen Brunelle. Jennifer Huff's competent but monotone vocals lead 'Night Embrace', a creepy nocturnal dance of spirits. The effect is unremarkable and I fear this is a band that will become lost over time in the throngs of Progdom, someday getting their all-too-late cult following. The title cut picks up a bit, a very Discipline-like piece which feels comfortable like a good generic t-shirt... it seems fine but probably won't last long in your wardrobe. 'Mask' just drags as this record starts to lose us and it's at this point we can't help but ask, with such quality musicians, why? As well, the recording is flat with a tinny mix, failing to accentuate the best these players have to offer. Finally there's some heat on '3rd Degree' which opens with a nice drum part by Brunelle and picked-up by some slippery electric guitar from John McCloskey. But it's too little too late and though 'Shades' is another quality heavy prog number, we wonder where these more interesting cuts were when we needed them. 'Embers', a Floydie dragger with some odd recitations, puts this earnest but limp offering to rest. A good band, a medium record.

Atavachron | 2/5 |


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