the murky fog, the drums pound into your head. Stumbling through the relentless
jungle, the flute pierces through the blackness.
Heartache. Your breathing gets heavier and heavier, and your mind embarks on a
trip into madness and sorrow.
Your pulse races: Your tongue sticks to the roof of your
mouth. Dehydration mixes with saturation to produce sheer misery. The drums
pound in your skull: The rhythm entrances your soul.
friends, is the experience of Rick Miller's "Heart of Darkness". Rick's newest
album is a true experience for your senses and emotions. As you can tell from
the dark evocation present in the sensual cover art, "Heart of Darkness" is
mysterious and somehow lovely, too. It seems only thematically based on Joseph
Conrad's novel of the same name, but really it could be a telling of the story
from a purely emotional perspective. Anyways, one of the first things that
struck me about this release is the quality of the lyrics, whether they be in
song or in spoken poetry. The writing is, in a word, perfect. No cheese. No
clichés. The album is full of memorable, haunting lines, and expressive word
pictures that really create images in your mind. Be prepared, then, for an
Miller is a busy musician with 9 releases since 2003. However, his music doesn't
seem to get stale or played-out. His music is definitely based on a foundation
of Pink Floyd, as the music a swirling mix of guitar solos, ambient keys, and
atmosphere. I also seem to hear a good amount of the light airiness of of Steve
Hackett's solo albums here, too, especially in Rick's vocal style. Into that
mix, Rick has added ethnic and electronic touches to tailor "Heart of Darkness"
to fit its theme. Pounding tribal drums interplay with exceptional flute
passages and a thick, incense-laced atmosphere, and it's all so very enjoyable.
album is all about contrast. Dark and light. High and Low. Organic and
synthetic. Soaring guitars and shrill flutes pierce through the dank atmosphere
and rhythmic drums. Electronic synth laces the tribal vocal harmonies,
displaying a marriage of synthetic and organic. Surreal and stark, vague and
frighteningly real. "Heart of Darkness" plays with your mind, all the while
is also rather varied. From the nightmarish, ethnic "Heart of Darkness" to the
soft, emotional pleas of "Blood of the Rose" and "Castle Walls" to the misty
desolation of "The Dark Lady" and the blackened harmonies of "Come Summer, She
Died"; this album is deeply inspired and forbiddingly poetic. "The Dark Lady" is
my favorite track, and certainly my favorite track of 2014 thus far. It features
incredible structure, mystery, and an awesome instrumental with an incredible
guitar solo and synth performance.
is the way that 2014 is going to perform, bring it on! Rick Miller has scared me
as much as he has delighted me in "Heart of Darkness", but that just shows his
skill and maturity. He knows the type of music he wants to create, and he does
it with gusto and inspiration. "Heart of Darkness", then, is the first
masterpiece of 2014.