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Cliffhanger - Mirror Site CD (album) cover





2.96 | 16 ratings

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3 stars Before splitting up, Cliffhanger had already recorded a demo, which was enough for the band to win a contract with Musea Records.Dick Heijboer was still present during the recordings, but at the time of the album's release he was replaced by newcomer Ronald van de Weerd.Musea released the album in 1998, ''Mirror site'' was its title, but Cliffhanger had already fallen apart.

Despite having taken the road towards dissolution, Cliffhanger still played interesting and complicated music along the lines of GENESIS, the recording quality had dropped a bit due to having captured most stuff at home instead of a professional studio, but the music contains evidence of a talented band.They had pretty much left behind the long and multi-parted compositions, except for a pair of tracks, but they did not ever abandon the mood for symphonic-oriented dramatic arrangements.With the standard STEVE HACKETT-like guitar trembling and the TONY BANKS-inspired keyboard flashes they remained a strong value of the Dutch Neo Prog scene.Actually ''Mirror site'' contains some of the most complex and atmospheric compositions created by Cliffhanger, which was pretty respectable, but they had somewhat lost their way onto efficient and memorable melodies.On the other hand the album is dominated by maybe the best guitar work of Rinie Huigen, his solos in particular are simply one of the finest in the league.If only the band could combine them with a more solid songwriting.You will simply beg for another spin of ''The undiscovered country'', propably the best track ever written by the band with Huigen's emotional guitar lines and the Mellotron of Heijboer creating a spacious, sensitive atmosphere.Possibly the whole album would have sounded a bit better, if recorded in a more proper way, the keyboard arrangements and sinister thematic changes are still very nice, but there is a suspicion of a thin sound throughout the release.

It is quite amazing that the band recorded a large number of demos, lives and studios albums in just a 5-year span.They always maintained a high composing quality and progressive nature, ''Mirror site'' is no exception, it's semi-dark and complex Neo/Symphonic Prog with obvious GENESIS flashes, recommended to all lovers of the style.

apps79 | 3/5 |


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