Rick Miller - Heart of Darkness

Rick Miller Heart of Darkness cover
Rick Miller
Heart of Darkness
Independent Release
Rick Miller seems to be unstoppable since his return in 2003. In 11, he released 9 full-length albums! Shocking but true. I guess he’s kinda workaholic or better say music-a-holic. One might argue that the music quality will probably be less from album to album but the “weird thing” is that with each new album Rick’s getting closer to the prog rock music he (and we) loved during the 70s & the 80s.
“Heart of Darkness” is a proof to what I said earlier as it blends prog rock with atmospheric, melancholic, ambient, psychedelic & pop-rock elements. Add a few folk/ethic as well and you’re half-way there… meaning that no matter how good a music description might be… you always need to listen to the actual thing in order to get the whole idea. You can easily do that here. It’s so damn easy nowadays! Rick gives you the chance to listen to the whole album and get the digital or the physical copy of the album, which will be available on February 24th 2014.
All songs have once more been written, arranged, recorded and produced by Rick Miller himself along with the help of: Kane Miller on acoustic guitar and violin, Sarah Young on flute, Mateusz Swoboda on cello, Barry Haggarty on guitar and Will on drums & percussion. Moreover, Ruth Archer has written the lyrics on “Blood of the Rose”.
The homonymous “Heart of Darkness”, is a somewhat more acoustic track with ethic/folk features. It’s a bit atmospheric & progy/etchic with lots of percussion.
Blood of the Rose” follows a mellower path, with acoustic guitars & flutes. It’s atmospheric with nice guitar solos ala Pink Floyd. It is also the album’s first (out of two) long track. It lasts around 10 minutes. It’s very well-arranged and keeps one’s interest till the end. Wonderful.
“Castle Walls” set things straight right from the start. Brilliantly arranged, with great hooks. It’s somewhat more laid-back at the beginning but it reaches a climax before the atmospheric & impressive refrain bursts in. Another splendid track to revel in.
“The Dark Lady” lasts about 13,5 minutes. It is moving among progressive, atmospheric, psychedelic, ethic & pop-rock paths. Very tuneful synth breaks and guitar solos. A long prog rock track with a 70s atmosphere & references. In one word… spectacular.
“Come Summer, She Died” is the anthem of the album. Absolutely stunning. Melodic, melancholic, moody & catchy. It will evoke the finest moments of The Moody Blues, Barclay James Harvest, Alan Parsons Project & Pink Floyd! I never thought I’d listen to such a song in 2014! Simply astonishing!
Rick Miller is hard worker when it comes to prog. He’s been into this kind of music since the early 80s and has stayed true to it even if he hasn’t got the recognition he so much deserves all these years. But you know something… it’s all about the music. Rick does what he does for the love of it and not for the fame & fortune. It would be a mistake not to support him. After all, “Heart of Darkness” is a refined prog rock album…