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Rick Miller

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Rick Miller Heart of Darkness album cover
3.90 | 171 ratings | 5 reviews | 17% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2014

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Heart of Darkness (6:20)
2. Blood of the Rose (10:03)
3. Castle Walls (5:06)
4. The Dark Lady (13:26)
5. Come Summer, She Died (6:52)

Total Time 41:47

Line-up / Musicians

- Rick Miller / performer, composer & producer

- Barry Haggarty / guitar
- Kane Miller / violin, acoustic guitar (not confirmed)
- Mateusz Swoboda / cello
- Sarah Young / flute
- Will / drums

Releases information

CD MALS ‎- MALS 402 (2014, Russia)

Digital album

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RICK MILLER Heart of Darkness ratings distribution

(171 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(17%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(43%)
Good, but non-essential (31%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

RICK MILLER Heart of Darkness reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Second Life Syndrome
5 stars Through the murky fog, the drums pound into your head. Stumbling through the relentless jungle, the flute pierces through the blackness. Sweat. Tears. Heartache. Your breathing gets heavier and heavier, and your mind embarks on a trip into madness and sorrow. Your pulse races: Your tongue sticks to the roof of your mouth. Dehydration mixes with saturation to produce sheer misery. The drums pound in your skull: The rhythm entrances your soul.

That, my friends, is the experience of Rick Miller's "Heart of Darkness". Rick's newest album is a true experience for your senses and emotions. As you can tell from the dark evocation present in the sensual cover art, "Heart of Darkness" is mysterious and somehow lovely, too. It seems only thematically based on Joseph Conrad's novel of the same name, but really it could be a telling of the story from a purely emotional perspective. Anyways, one of the first things that struck me about this release is the quality of the lyrics, whether they be in song or in spoken poetry. The writing is, in a word, perfect. No cheese. No cliches. The album is full of memorable, haunting lines, and expressive word pictures that really create images in your mind. Be prepared, then, for an immersive experience.

Rick Miller is a busy musician with 9 releases since 2003. However, his music doesn't seem to get stale or played-out. His music is definitely based on a foundation of Pink Floyd, as the music a swirling mix of guitar solos, ambient keys, and atmosphere. I also seem to hear a good amount of the light airiness of of Steve Hackett's solo albums here, too, especially in Rick's vocal style. Into that mix, Rick has added ethnic and electronic touches to tailor "Heart of Darkness" to fit its theme. Pounding tribal drums interplay with exceptional flute passages and a thick, incense-laced atmosphere, and it's all so very enjoyable.

This album is all about contrast. Dark and light. High and Low. Organic and synthetic. Soaring guitars and shrill flutes pierce through the dank atmosphere and rhythmic drums. Electronic synth laces the tribal vocal harmonies, displaying a marriage of synthetic and organic. Surreal and stark, vague and frighteningly real. "Heart of Darkness" plays with your mind, all the while delighting you.

The album is also rather varied. From the nightmarish, ethnic "Heart of Darkness" to the soft, emotional pleas of "Blood of the Rose" and "Castle Walls" to the misty desolation of "The Dark Lady" and the blackened harmonies of "Come Summer, She Died"; this album is deeply inspired and forbiddingly poetic. "The Dark Lady" is my favorite track, and certainly my favorite track of 2014 thus far. It features incredible structure, mystery, and an awesome instrumental with an incredible guitar solo and synth performance.

If this is the way that 2014 is going to perform, bring it on! Rick Miller has scared me as much as he has delighted me in "Heart of Darkness", but that just shows his skill and maturity. He knows the type of music he wants to create, and he does it with gusto and inspiration. "Heart of Darkness", then, is the first masterpiece of 2014.

Review by kev rowland
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 (, it is also available for streaming or download on Bandcamp so why not get over to and give it a listen for yourself?

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Canadian composer and musician Rick MILLER has been an active recording musician for more than 30 years, and since the beginning of the 2000's he has steadily released studio albums where he explores his own particular brand of progressive rock. "Heart of Darkness" represents Miller's ninth foray into the progressive rock universe, and was released through the Russian label MALS Records in 2014.

Atmospheric laden, carefully performed progressive rock with ambient elements, folk-oriented details and a certain Pink Floyd vibe to it is the specialty of Canadian artist Rick Miller. At this stage of his recording career he has a sure hand in creating warm, melancholic and calming landscapes of that kind, occasionally twisting the knife to add undercurrents of a more threatening kind, but always going about in a careful, subtle and mostly non-dramatic manner. Fans of dark, atmospheric progressive rock should know their visiting time here, and as usual I'd recommend those who tend to enjoy 70's Pink Floyd to inspect the works of Rick Miller, if they haven't already done so.

Latest members reviews

4 stars The continuation of a long journey in the heart of a musical empire at the crossroads of tortured introspection and spiritual fulfillment. The eponymous title, opening the album, is perfectly timed: the vaguely tribal percussions give rhythm to a strange tempo dance, in which the flute, the rock ... (read more)

Report this review (#2696990) | Posted by Realmean | Saturday, March 5, 2022 | Review Permanlink

4 stars While my primary coverage is the metal side of the progressive world, occasionally I come across a progressive rock album that's so good that I have to cover it. For those of you that can't exist without distortion, feel free to tune out now, but for the rest, I implore you to read on. Rick Mi ... (read more)

Report this review (#1211395) | Posted by Daggor | Friday, July 11, 2014 | Review Permanlink

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