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(42:16, MALS Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. March of the Demons 3:55 2. Dreamtigers 6:22 3. Ghost of a Common Man 7:26 4. Still In It 4:47 5. Spanish Fly 2:02 6. Return of the Acolyte 4:57 7. Gods of a Distant Land 2:45 8. The Call 6:56 9. Sometimes 3:06 LINEUP: Rick Miller guitars, bass, keyboards; vocals Will drums Sara Young flute Kristina Vowles vocals Barry Haggarty guitars Kane Miller guitars; violin
Prolusion. Canadian composer and musician Rick MILLER started his recording career back in the early eighties, initially exploring music of a more new age-oriented nature. As his skills grew and talent developed his artistic needs grew with them, and just after the millennium he started crafting and eventually releasing music of a more sophisticated nature, inspired by the works of artists like The Moody Blues and Pink Floyd. Self-released at the time of their initial respective creations, most of Miller's back catalogue was picked up and reissued by MALS Records in 2010, "Dreamtigers" from 2004 and "The End of Days" from 2006 both among those obviously.
Analysis. "Dreamtigers" is a production that delivers pretty much what you would expect from a CD carrying such a name: dream-laden, atmospheric compositions rich in mood and emotion, with something of a bite and a snarl to them. Musically we're not dealing with what ardent art rock fans would describe as challenging music however. Sophisticated for sure, but within a stylistic context where the outer perimeters have been set by artists such as Pink Floyd, Camel and Vangelis. Slow-to-mid-paced efforts with an emphasis on dream-laden atmospheres is the end result, where the gentle wailing of the solo guitar is one of many traits lavishly applied to conjure up the harmonic landscapes to be found, this particular item being one those fond of Andy Latimer and David Gilmour's antics surely will appreciate. Rich symphonic backdrops and themes are a constant feature throughout, more often than not in total harmony with both acoustic and electric guitar, depending on which of them is applied at any given time, and rather often incorporating the aforementioned mood-laden solo guitar in its midst as well. Flute and violin add some nice details to the arrangements, and opting for female lead vocals on most non-instrumental tracks suits this kind of music perfectly. This is a type of music heavily explored by others, however, and as such a stylistic expression where it is both difficult and challenging to make a great impression. That Miller has managed to conjure up a handful or so of efforts that have a major impact redounds to his credit in that context, with opening effort March of the Demons the most enthralling of these to my ears the dark, brooding undercurrent that is a defining aspect of this composition creating a strong and compelling contrast to the dream-laden symphonic art rock dominating the arrangements.
Conclusion. "Dreamtigers" is a fine example of sophisticated symphonic art rock of the atmosphere-laden variety, music that should interest those who enjoy Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon and Camel's various endeavors as well as fans of the less known contemporary explorers of that stylistic expression such as Phideaux and The Future Kings of England.