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Cliffhanger - Not To Be Or Not To Be CD (album) cover





3.35 | 41 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars I waited a long time with this review even though Not to be or not to be is in my collection for over 10 years now. But it's a tough one to review, appears another mindbreaker for a 3 or 4 starrating. It's a pretty dark album for neo standards. The only other neoband that comes to mind in this respect is Italian ASGARD but the difference between the two is that Asgard plays a bit softer where Cliffhanger is a bit more energetic. But both bands create an atmosphere as if you're in some sort of cold damp dungeon. Interesting if you can create this through your musical sound and style.

Opening song Innocent Victim is immediately a perfect example of this feature. Despite the gloomy atmosphere there's also lots of great melodic moments in this song. Next one is the shortest track of the album (still clocking almost 8 minutes !) called Sewing. It's more quiet but at least as dark and somber as the opener. Cliffhanger plays an interesting mix all along of dark dissonances and yet surprisingly fine melodies. In that respect you could call them a mix between GENTLE GIANT and YES.

Rest of the songs are played in more or less this same style and the high level is continued all along. Despite my initial doubts for the rating in the end it's actually not too hard. It's simply strong and good enough for 4 stars. Don't play this if you want to be cheered up though.

progrules | 4/5 |


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