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Cliffhanger - Mirror Site CD (album) cover





2.96 | 16 ratings

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erik neuteboom
Prog Reviewer
3 stars When Cliffhanger released their debut CD entitled Cold Steel on the Dutch progrock label SI Music in 1995, many progheads were convinced that this would be their breakthrough after gaining a large cult-follwing by giving many concerts and releasing a promising demo-tape (featuring pleasant and melodic symphonic rock with strong hints from Genesis, Yes and UK). Unfortunately it turned out that Cliffhanger only kept a fanatic but small audience. And the singer often got negative remarks because of his not very powerful voice. I don't have problems with this and Rinie took lessons to improve his voice. After the recordings of this third album founding member and keyboard player Dick Heijboer decided to leave the band, he was (shortly) replaced by Ronald Van De Weerd who came from Pink Floyd cover band The Anderson Council (the surnames of Pink and Floyd..!).

1. Rainforest (7:16) : First soaring keyboards and forest sounds, then a tight rhythm featuring howling guitar work and percussive keyboards, supported by Moog Taurus bass pedals during the more bombastic moments.

2. The Final Frontier (4:57) : Lots of alternating, very compelling parts, from mellow with beautiful piano, vocals and sensitive electric guitar (evoking Hackett because of the frequent use of the volume pedal) to bombastic with majestic choir-Mellotron, fiery electric guitar and lush keybards (with strong hints from mid-Genesis).

3. Mirror Site I (11:35) : First spacey keyboards, then a propulsive rhythm and lots of shifting moods and pleasant musical ideas including a flashy synthesizer solo, floods of Mellotron and a duet between sampled church organ and Hackett-like guitar.

4. Mirror Site II (9:51) : This piece sounds like a marriage between mid-Genesis (guitar) and Seventies Pink Floyd (soaring keyboards), followed by a tight beat with powerful Rickenbacker bass work and inventive play on guitar and keyboards.

5. Mirror Site III (5:23) : After a short sampled church organ intro there is an up- tempo beat delivering fiery electric guitar.

6. Sunday Afternoon (4:27) : This track features a nice harmony between fiery electric guitar, propulsive bass and dazzling synthesizer flights.

7. Truce (4:43) : It starts a bit polished but gradually the climate turns into wonderful symphonic rock.

8. The Undiscovered Country (8:51) : The final composition has a Mellotron drenched intro, then a sensitive electric guitar joins and eventually Cliffhanger presents us wonderful 24-carat symphonic rock featuring compelling keyboards, a powerful bass sound and beautiful guitarplay, frequently supported by Mellotron waves.

In my opinion this is Cliffhanger their best studio album, they don't have the level of IQ or Marillion but Cliffhanger deserves a second chance!

erik neuteboom | 3/5 |


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