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Dark Aether Project

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Dark Aether Project The Gentle Art Of Fire Walking album cover
2.98 | 5 ratings | 3 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2002

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Crossing The Threshold (7:06)
2. Night Embrace (4:24)
3. The Gentle Art Of Firewalking (4:48)
4. Mask (4:33)
5. 3rd Degree (4:04)
6. Shades (4:16)
7. Sparks Fly (4:39)
8. Embers (8:57)

Total Time: 42:27

Line-up / Musicians

- Allen Brunelle / drums, backing vocals, keyboards
- Jennifer Huff / vocals
- Adam Levin / Warr 8 string touchstyle guitar, bass, guitar, keyboards, Loops
- John McCloskey / electric and acoustic guitars
- Marty Saletta / keyboards, stick

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DARK AETHER PROJECT The Gentle Art Of Fire Walking ratings distribution

(5 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
Good, but non-essential (20%)
Collectors/fans only (20%)
Poor. Only for completionists (20%)

DARK AETHER PROJECT The Gentle Art Of Fire Walking reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Dan Bobrowski
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars A well structured album, with alternating instrumental/vocal tracks, that has a strong 80's King Crimson influence. The Chapman Stick work of Adam Levin is reminicient of Tony Levin (are they related?). The instrumental tracks stand out with intricate patterns, shift time signatures and intense soloing. The guitarist, John McCloskey, uses power and subtlety in his approach, taking charge but not overstepping the other musicians. Jennifer Huff's voice is good and will get better with a few more releases. She has a breathless tone, soft and sweet.

Like Crimson? Love Dark Aether Project.

Review by Atavachron
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
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.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars First off i'd like to dedicate this review to keyboardist / stick player Marty Saletta who just recently passed away. This was the final album for the DARK AETHER PROJECT and the only one that Marty played on for them. Some might remember him as being a member of CHAOS CODE, he just played on their debut ("A Tapestry Of Afterthoughts") before joining this band. It's probably not a coincedence that the favourite albums of mine from those two bands are the ones Marty played on. Allen the drummer in tribute said that Marty was "Absolutely the most generous & positive guy i've known". Another who knew him talked about Marty playing goalie on their hockey team and often playing at 4:30 am (because that was the only time they could get ice time) and then off he would go to work. Anyone who loves hockey and Prog is my kind of guy. Another mentioned that Marty was always willing to let artists borrow his equipment at the "NearFest" concerts, including Martin Orford of IQ a couple of times. RIP Marty and thanks for the music.

I guess the biggest change on this album from the previous one "Feed The Silence" has to do with the lineup changes. Marty on keys i've talked about, Jennifer Huff on vocals in place of Ray Weston is an improvement in my opinion, and John McCloskey is the new guitarist. "Crossing The Threshold" is the opening instrumental. It's dark with gentle guitar and keys to open. Electric guitar comes in with drums as the sound builds. The guitar starts to light it up. Nice. It settles back 4 1/2 minutes in but then the guitar starts ripping it up again as synths come in. It ends as it opened. "Night Embrace" opens with drums as bass joins in,then we hear Jennifer for the first time. She sounds great as the synths come in. The tempo picks up after 1 1/2 minutes. Contrasts continue. Some excellent bass on this track. Guitar takes off after 3 minutes. "The Gentle Art Of Firewalking" is another instrumental. Lots of touch guitar and stick on this one.The guitar starts to get aggressive 3 1/2 minutes in, nice drumming too.

"Mask" is laid back with chunky bass as reserved vocals join in. I really like the chorus when the sound gets fuller. Love the bass on this track, synths too. "3rd Degree" is a more uptempo guitar drive track. The bass and synths are excellent too. "Shades" has this outstanding intro of bass, guitar and drums before we get some angular guitar which was plentiful on their last album. More fat bass throughout. Vocals come in as angular guitar continues. It's KING CRIMSON-like after 2 minutes as touch guitar comes in. "Sparks Fly" opens with heavy guitar and drums as synths come in with force. I like the way the guitar solos over top later. Angular guitar follows. Just a killer track ! "Embers" is the 9 minute closer. Spacey and haunting to open. This song is about a breakup. Deep bass before 1 1/2 minutes. We get both female and male vocals singing the same lines sadly. Melancholic synths come in. A meaningful and emotional song.

This is worth 4 stars in my opinion. In the liner notes the band thanks ANEKDOTEN, SOLARIS, DISCIPLINE, ILLUVATAR, HAPPY THE MAN, NEBELNEST and THINKING PLAGUE.

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