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VISUAL CLIFF

Jazz Rock/Fusion • United States


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Visual Cliff biography
Relationships and chance encounters is the background for the formation of US act VISUAL CLIFF. Rob Perez (guitars) had become aquainted with Rick Mals (drums) in the 80's, and in the early 90's with Rob Klan (keyboards). In both cases circumstances saw to it that they drifted apart though, but in 1999 Perez sought out Rick with some ideas in mind in terms of creating music tiogether, and a chance encounter with Klas in a restaurant and then later in the year hooking up with Eric Fuller (bass) resulted in a band forming - more or less.

A demo was made at first, but as Fuller had an education to finish, as well as getting married, concrete results didn't appear until 2003, with the release of Visual Cliff's debut album "Lyrics For The Living", and it wasn't until one year later that Fuller could join the band in earnest, for the recording of the second album "Key To Eternity".

Both albums were pretty succesfull, and are currently on their second print run. For their third album Perez decided to contact vocalist Shane Lankford of Orphan Project, who made quite an impression on Perez, and asked if he's like to hook up with Visual Cliff for vocal duties there as well. He was positive, and in 2005 "Freedom Within" was issued, to great succes. The album is currently in it's third pressing, after selling out the first two.

In 2007 "Into The After" saw the light of day, and this time around Lankford's vocals were given more place than on their 2005 album.

Visual Cliff official website

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Buy VISUAL CLIFF Music


Freedom WithinFreedom Within
Trinity Records 2007
Audio CD$5.59
$1.59 (used)
Key to EternityKey to Eternity
Trinity Records 2004
Audio CD$7.99
$3.95 (used)
Lyrics for the LivingLyrics for the Living
Big Balloon Music 2003
Audio CD$7.99
$2.76 (used)
Into the AfterInto the After
Trinity Records 2007
Audio CD$22.31
$15.99 (used)
Limited Edition EpLimited Edition Ep
Limited Edition · EP
Trinity Records
Audio CD$35.00 (used)
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VISUAL CLIFF discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

VISUAL CLIFF top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.70 | 10 ratings
Lyrics for the Living
2003
3.67 | 7 ratings
Key To Eternity
2004
3.41 | 9 ratings
Freedom Within
2005
4.03 | 4 ratings
Into The After
2007
4.08 | 3 ratings
Collective spirit
2010
4.00 | 1 ratings
Out of the Archives
2013
3.67 | 3 ratings
Between Two Kingdoms
2013

VISUAL CLIFF Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

VISUAL CLIFF Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

VISUAL CLIFF Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

VISUAL CLIFF Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

VISUAL CLIFF Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Key To Eternity  by VISUAL CLIFF album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.67 | 7 ratings

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Key To Eternity
Visual Cliff Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars With Eric Fuller now permamently taking over the bass duties Visual Cliff would move on to the recordings of a secnd album in 2004, ''Key to eternity''.''Lyrics for the living'' became a sell-out after all and the decision for the making of a sophomore work was pretty easy.The album was released on Rob Perez'es self-distributing Trinity Records.

Another solid instrumental Prog Rock effort by the Americans, dominated by the heavy guitars and the measured use of keyboards and piano, this work was pretty much influenced by RUSH and their take on intense and dynamic music, filled with tempo changes, atmospheric breaks and orchestral keyboards.Very modern-sounding stuff, where the sound of Perez'es guitars prevail, both in acoustic and electric deliveries, occasionally moving into tight Heavy Fusion with the style obtaining a jazzy feel through the endless electroacoustic moves and the variety of rhythms and solos.It's not a very complex album, albeit technically efficient, ''Key to eternity'' even contains some pretty hard riffs and there are even moments with a sinister KING CRIMSON instrumental mood.Perez appears to be the main hero here, but the album features also an extremely consistent rhythm section and the injections of orchestral keyboards and piano lines by Rob Klan add an even deeper and convinving sound.A dose of similarity between the tracks is evident throughout the listening, but the material overall is well-played, executed with tension and offering a good composing level.

Instrumental Heavy Prog with Fusion leanings.You will love this stuff especially if guitar-dominated music is among your preferences.Recommended.

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 Lyrics for the Living  by VISUAL CLIFF album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.70 | 10 ratings

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Lyrics for the Living
Visual Cliff Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

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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 Collective spirit by VISUAL CLIFF album cover Studio Album, 2010
4.08 | 3 ratings

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Collective spirit
Visual Cliff Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Morsenator

4 stars I don't always write reviews, but when I do, it's because: This album needs more reviews!

Visual Cliff are a solid fusion/heavy prog band playing mostly instrumental music. Their latest album, Collective Spirit (2010) is a blend of well-written compositions, heavy riffs and also some thoughtful lyrics. The collaboration of Shane Lankford in vocals and Mike Florio in keyboards adds some needed variation to the instrumental riffing and smoother sections, which might have been lacking a bit on the previous albums (even though musically Visual Cliff has made even better albums than this one, check out their first Lyrics for the Living for example). As in their other projects, they do their job splendidly. Highlight tracks for me are the thought-provoking Exposed, atmospheric Sabbath and hard-rocking Sweet Conviction. Every song is a good one, and while the album lacks the "masterpiece" quality, it flows so well together productively and structurally that there is little to complain about in it. 4 stars easy.

This album and the whole Visual Cliff discography can be listened and downloaded freely in their website (trinityrecords.net). Recommended for fans of Orphan Project, Rush and Planet X.

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 Into The After by VISUAL CLIFF album cover Studio Album, 2007
4.03 | 4 ratings

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Into The After
Visual Cliff Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Morsenator

4 stars Sometimes one comes across an album that just simply works, from start to finish. Visual Cliff's 2007 output Into the After is for me among those albums. Their captivating, fusion-influenced heavy prog sound really shines here. Despite the numerous cool riffs, there is an occasional nice guitar solo or a necessary more laid back, a jazzy or chillout like bit. The vocals of Shane Lankford fit well in the mainly instrumental soundscapes, making at times the band sound like a heavier version of Orphan Project, his primary band. Visual Cliff's first five albums are all downloadable for free via their trinityrecords.net site, highly recommended.

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 Freedom Within by VISUAL CLIFF album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.41 | 9 ratings

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Freedom Within
Visual Cliff Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Morsenator

3 stars Freedom Within, Visual Cliff's third release, shows the band entering to a more heavier territory than their first two albums. Some nice riffs are indeed found here, and the album is a nice listen, almost straightforward considered that it's prog. While the tones are accessible, they are also a bit more shallow in depth compared to the other VC albums. Therefore I'm giving this album one star less than the others. Still, like all their albums, this is a quality release of heavy prog with fusion elements that doesn't degenerate into mindless shredding like so many of its kind. Visual Cliff's albums can be listened and downloaded via their trinityrecords.net website, worth checking out.

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 Key To Eternity  by VISUAL CLIFF album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.67 | 7 ratings

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Key To Eternity
Visual Cliff Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Morsenator

4 stars Atmospheric. There's a good word to describe Key to Eternity, Visual Cliff's second album. Delicate guitar leads, progressive rhytm patterns and strong motifs are blended together to create a splendid work of instrumental goodiness. Listening to this album is like catching a small drop of light, as is pictured on the cover art. The drum and bass section creates a firm base on which the guitars and keys can lay their soundscapes, always full of life. Songs like At Mospheric Reside and two part The Return show the real talent of a band that would likely be appreciated by many, if given a chance.

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 Freedom Within by VISUAL CLIFF album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.41 | 9 ratings

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Freedom Within
Visual Cliff Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3.5 stars. It's a coincidence that i'm reviewing this album not long after reviewing the ORPHAN PROJECT's latest.The connection between the two is vocalist Shane Lankford. This is the first time VISUAL CLIFF has used vocals and it works quite well. Like ORPHAN PROJECT's latest, VISUAL CLIFF have also increased the heaviness substantially on this one.

"Sacred" is quite heavy as the vocals join in. Guitar solo 3 1/2 minutes in. A crunchy opener. "Electric Soul" is an instrumental that reminds me of Satriani. A heavy guitar led tune. Some synths before 3 minutes followed by a ripping guitar solo. "Future Impact" is another instrumental, this time the focus is on the drums early. Great sound 1 1/2 minutes. Drums become dominant again then it's the guitars turn before 3 1/2 minutes. "Let It Ring" is heavy duty as vocals come in.

"Beneath The Sand" sounds really good to start as we get this heavy and uptempo soundscape. Vocals join in. The vocals seem to get deeper before 2 minutes. Then it settles before kicking back in. "Radiant Departure" sounds amazing. The guitar lights it up around 1 1/2 minutes. "Torn From Expression" is heavy with some great sounding guitar playing over top. Synths 2 1/2 minutes in. "Spirit Rain" opens and closes with rain and thunder. In between we get some crunch and some beautiful guitar when it settles.

Like ORPHAN PROJECT's latest I have trouble with the vocal tracks. Shane is an excellent singer but his deeper voice in this style of music recalls NICKELBACK and all the similar sounding bands that are all over the radio.That bothers me. Only 3 vocal tunes here though. I still prefer their debut "Lyrics For The Living"(barely 4 stars), although if this was all instrumental I think i'd pick this one.

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 Freedom Within by VISUAL CLIFF album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.41 | 9 ratings

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Freedom Within
Visual Cliff Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

4 stars Take the plunge over the Visual Cliff.

A heavier Visual Cliff album with some excellent riffs and vocals. This was the first time the band decided to add the vocals of Shane Lankford and it was a welcome change. The instrumentals of past albums are still here on occasion but the songs are the best tracks. Sacred and Beneath the Sand a re wonderful heavy tracks with very powerful lyrics based on Christian living. The guitars are subtle but very riff heavy, like recent Rush in some ways.

The riff in Radiant Departure could do with a vocal accompaniment but it works well enough. I like the scratchy guitar and the lead breaks are as excellent as past releases.

This album does not have the ambience and heavy reliance on piano of the other Visual Cliff albums and once again the change in style is for the better. Having said that there are still wonderful keyboard sections but not as bombastic or overbearing.

The progressive time changes in Torn From Expression are great, another killer instrumental based on heavy riffing and clean lead breaks. This track is a bit Dream Theater/Rush in style and structure. I love that riff! Check it out here on the PA. In fact once again the entire album, indeed the entire discography of the band is free to listen to here on streaming audio!

The riffing continues on Spirit Rain, another instrumental. Rush sounding as ever, and memorable melody with a number of time signature changes, heavy to melancholy in blasts and the lead guitar shines on this instrumental track.

So what are you waiting for? Take the plunge over the Visual Cliff. This is definitely one of the best bands I have heard in a long time. Yet to produce a masterpiece, but this comes very, very close. All are 4 stars but this is their best album along with 'Into The After'.

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 Into The After by VISUAL CLIFF album cover Studio Album, 2007
4.03 | 4 ratings

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Into The After
Visual Cliff Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

4 stars Incredible hard driving rock blended with symphonic sections and very strong compositions throughout. Beyond the Gates is excellent as a highlight worth listening to here. The entire album can be heard here on the PA stream but its worth getting hold of for sheer musical vistuosity. The vocals are clean and easy to understand based on Christian principles and as a result very uplifting. Listen to Broken Soul, a great track, the vocal performance is simply brilliant.

The band shine on all the vocal tracks, but instrumentals are very well executed as well.

Empty Words features more lyrics about living right and speaking encouraging words rather than discouraging. The performance is great by the band, and I would count this as a highlight. The lyrics are excellent: "That is not a part of your shattered broken soul? this is not the door to heal your broken, shattered soul, clinging to the choices that have failed you in the past? "

My Guardian Angel has an excellent progtastic riff, heavy, foreboding and complex. I love these riffs, they just hit you immediately. No vocals but on this occasion the music is vibrant enough to sustain the track. The quiet moments are balanced perfectly with the heavy blasts. My favourite instrumental on the album, just listen to it now on this site. I love the end section that speeds up and really cranks along at a cracking pace. Once these riffs lock in they are bliss to the ears.

Beyond the Gates is a melodic song, and once again great vocal performance from Lankford. He has an excellent vocal range and really powers out this track. Another highlight on this album for certain.

The rhythm guitar is masterfully played, very metal and original time changes throughout each track. Some tracks are very melodic while others feature the raw intensity of a metal sound.

12 Stone Gardens launches into worship style choruses "To God be the Glory and to the one above", and The Multitudes is an instrumental with quiet gentle guitar and subtle piano. There is great diversity on this album. This instrumental is very ambient and flows alon nicely similar to the first 2 albums of Visual Cliff that were purely instrumental and much quieter.

Sounds at times like Riverside, King Crimson, Dream Theater or Rush with a Christian edge. I recommend it to any one who likes a heavier but not too intense metal sound. In the After and Freedom Within are the two albums to get hold of for a heavier sound but the other 2 albums are also excellent quality. Definitely worth a listen and thanks for loading all the songs to PA!

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 Key To Eternity  by VISUAL CLIFF album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.67 | 7 ratings

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Key To Eternity
Visual Cliff Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

4 stars A great symphonic sound blended with heavy distorted driving rhythm guitars.

The entire album can be heard here on the PA stream but its worth getting hold of for sheer musical virtuosity. This album was produced before Shane Lankford joined the ranks with his crystal clear vocals. Here is a range of instrumentals all played with well executed finesse. Piano is heavily featured and although the guitars are distorted the sound is very uplifting.

There are a wide varity of time sig changes and progressive structures throughout. Some tracks are very melodic while others feature the raw intensity of a metal sound.

The Return begins the album well and is featured in two part form. Romans 10 is apparently based on the Bible chapter of the same name and is very catchy. Living Proof has a jagged guitar riff and is edgy music that features a soaring guitar solo that rises above the other instruments like a double edged sword. Angleic Shield is melancholy prog with flute and clean guitar picking. The guitar solo is wonderful again. The Message has clean guitar and tom tom drums and creates an ambience to end the album on a high note.

I have not heard a bad Visual Cliff album. All are worthy of 4 stars. I recommend it to any one who likes a heavier but not too intense metal sound.

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