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Visual Cliff

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Visual Cliff Lyrics for the Living  album cover
3.70 | 11 ratings | 3 reviews | 30% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2003

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Piercing the skies (Psalm 33) (5:55)
2. The endless generation (Psalm 49) (5:56)
3. Spirit filled (Psalm 96) (5:01)
4. Conquering mind (Psalm 118) (4:50)
5. Leap ff faith (Psalm 115) (5:23)
6. For all she is (5:22)
7. Wisdom's call (5:33)
8. Rapture (7:43)

Total Time: 45:43

Line-up / Musicians

- Rob Klan / keyboards
- Rick Mals / drums, bass, programming
- Rob Perez / acoustic & electric guitars

Releases information

CD Big Ballon Music BBM 901

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
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VISUAL CLIFF Lyrics for the Living ratings distribution

(11 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(30%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
Good, but non-essential (20%)
Collectors/fans only (10%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

VISUAL CLIFF Lyrics for the Living reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars VISUAL CLIFF are an all instrumental trio from Pittsburg Pa.This is their first studio record. On this release the drummer (Rick Mals) also plays the bass guitar, there is also a keyboard player (Rob Klan) and the star of the show (Rob Perez) the lead guitarist. On their next release they would add a full time bass player. Even though there are no lyrics, there is a Biblical theme to this cd. The first five songs are each linked to one of the Psalms, while the last three are dedicated to the future in a spiritual way. This isn't a heavy record by any means. I would describe the overall feel as warm and on the lighter side (in a good way).

The first two songs are similar in style, both are great. While I was listening to "The Endless Generation" I was thinking "There is something beautiful in the air". The gentle guitar turns heavy and then gentle and then heavy, back and forth. The keyboards really compliment the guitar in this one, and as in "Leap Of Faith" the keyboards are warm and help create atmosphere but don't take the spotlight at all.

"Spirit Filled" is a gentle song with some nice soaring guitar. "Conquering Mind" is where Rob's guitar playing shines, the way he picks at it is amazing ! "Wisdom's Call" may be the best song on the album. There is a RUSH feel to the bass playing with the lead guitar playing overtop RIVERSIDE style. The last song "Rapture" is the heaviest with the bass and drums creating a heavy undercurrent, while the lead guitar breaks out of this over and over.

Excellent release! 4 solid stars!

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Spiritual Fusion of Rock, Metal and Jazz - welcome to Visual Cliff

What a pleasant surprise to be able to hear all these tracks here at the PA. My feelings are they play great rhythmic jazz fusion music with some heavy distorted guitar riffing, very low and chunky with serene streams of keyboard washes. Beautiful at times and broken with jagged guitar motifs that lock in and capture the tracks with admirable precision. All instrumental and highly engaging and uplifting music. Not sure why all the scripture references because there is no scripture read but it makes a nice change from listening to all the doom and gloom of a lot of prog rock. This is Spiritually exhilarating in contrast.

1. Piercing the skies (Psalm 33) The rhythmical metrical patterns are fractured and progressive. Mal's splintered drum beats are prevalent throughout to compliment the estranged guitars of Perez. Klan's Piano layered underneath adds to the instrumental prowess of the band. One of the best tracks on offer.

2. The endless generation (Psalm 49) A more mainstream approach with this track. Settles into a jazz drum pattern mid way through. Very catchy melodies and uplifting music. The metal riffing guitars are excellent to break up all the quieter moments. I love that guitar sound.

3. Spirit filled (Psalm 96). Another very well executed guitar motif and quirky time sig that keeps the metronome swinging. Great guitar work on this again, some wah wah style, and lots of clean chord playing.

4. Conquering Mind (Psalm 118). Another gentle, warm track sounding a little like Tommy Emmanuel, a Christian guitar instrumentalist extraordinaire. The guitars really soar on this track, and pulsate to the jazz drumming. Beautiful and lilting from end to end. Heavier guitars crash in at the end but they are never overbearing and provide a welcome contrast.

5. Leap ff faith (Psalm 115). (can someone fix that typo on the track list here!) This begins heavier with short stabs of 2 note structures, and then a wonderful clean guitar lead overlayed. One of the highlights of the album, heavily reliant upon Perez's metal sounding guitar riffs and solo work.

6. For all she is. A nice gentle guitar instrumental. Pleasant sounding and warm throughout.

7. Wisdom's call. Great guitar harmonics begin the track and then the very warm sounds of guitar picking from Perez. The keyboard washes are excellent and add to an ambience of melancholia and quietude. The distorted guitar crunches in soon and there is a blistering lead break that follows. All played to perfection by the trio and another highlight on this album.

8. Rapture is the longest track and begins with a great heavy riff that is distorted and aggressive. Perez really excels on this track. My favourite track easily, that locks into a huge riff and excellent lead guitar solos. There are many riffs on this track and it never slows down or gets dull. This is a showcase of guitar and off kilter jazz drumming. The piano is a subtle addition.

Thank you to Visual Cliff for allowing prog fans to hear their music for free online. They are worth listening to without a doubt and some of the best instrumentals I have heard in a long while. Listen to it and make your own mind up, but this is a very pleasant surprise.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars A tremendous story around this group, formed in Pittsburgh, USA, by Rob Perez (guitars), Rick Mals (drums), Rob Klan (keyboards).Perez have been known Mals in the 80's, both playing in a recording project, but since then they lost touch.He also knew Klan from a jamming band he was playing in around 1991, but it was destined to meet both again by accident many years later in separate cases.Thus, Visual Cliff were born in 1999 and launched their first album in 2003 under the title ''Lyrics for the Living'' on Big Balloon.All programmed samplings are responsibilities of Eric Fuller.

The title of the album is definitely paradox, as ''Lyrics for the Living'' is all instrumental release of Heavy Prog meets Guitar Instrumental Rock meets Fusion.Actually the tracks are quite similar in sound and structure with evident inspirations from the music of RUSH, LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT and OHM.Impressive rhytmic guitar parts are blended with discreet synthesizers, smooth bass lines and powerful drumming to conclude a good amalgam of pleasant instrumental music that still contains multiple breaks and sudden changes.The riffs appear to be trully angular, the rhythm section can get quite complex and technial with a strong jazzy background, while Klan seem to be the unseen hero, as his keyboards add to the overall guitar-led style a welcome color.There is also a fair amount of smoother, jazzier moments, more melodic textures and careful solos to complete the multi-dimensional image of an album that otherwise could be easily misunderstood as monotonous.

Great and energetic instrumental Prog music.Any fan of instrumental Rock, Heavy Rock or Jazz/Fusion will find something of his interest in ''Lyrics for the Living''.Recommended.

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