Rick Miller – Altered States (2023)

Rick Miller - Altered States (2023)
Artist: Rick Miller
Album: Altered States
Genre: Progressive Rock, Symphonic Rock
Label: Progressive Promotion Records
Year Of Release: 2023
Quality: FLAC (tracks+.cue)

Tracklist:
1. Altered States (10:00)
2. New Moon Prelude (2:45)
3. Wolf Moon (9:42)
4. Borrowed Time (8:51)
5. The Trap (4:23)
6. Old Secrets (5:57)
7. Half Moon (3:46)
8. A Dream Within a Dream (4:59)
9. Full Moon Rising (1:39)

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Personnel:
– Rick Miller / performer, composer & producer

With:
– Sarah Young / flute
– Giulia Cacciavillian / flute
– Mateusz Swoboda / cello
– Barry Haggarty / guitar
– Kane Miller / violin
– Will / drums & percussion

In 2022 Miller returned with his seventeenth studio album, again sticking with his tried and trusted line-up of Sarah Young (flute), Mateusz Swoboda (cello), Barry Haggarty (guitar), Kane Miller (guitar, violin) and Will (drums & percussion) although second flautist Jaye Marsh is no longer involved and has instead been replaced by Giulia Cacciavillian. While I am not sure I would call this a concept album, I would certainly say that many of the songs sit on a theme and if the cover art had shown a wolf instead of a lizard and a frog I would not have been surprised, given we have “New Moon Prelude”, “Wolf Moon”, “Half Moon” and “Full Moon Rising”.

Musically we have moved more into the areas of Steve Hackett, and it would not take much for one to believe that “The Trap” is a long lost track which was recorded for ‘Acolyte’, but there are still plenty of influences from classic Barclay James Harvest, Alan Parsons Project and Pink Floyd. I also find it interesting that there are songs here which one would imagine with a different arrangement could well be considered folk rock, such is their style. The layered vocals, the non-rushed guitars, have a very different approach to so many others which are out there, and the result is an album which gently moves from symphonic to folk all the time staying very progr4essive but also bringing it plenty of atmosphere and ambient trends. It is very much an album for the listener to fall inside, to be removed from the daily stresses and strains and instead be taken away to somewhere very different indeed.

The way to get the most out of this album is by playing it on headphones when there is no possibility of being disturbed, where one can allow the music to take control and for the listener to be swept away on the wings of their own imagination. Yet another simply wonderful album from Rick, a worthy addition to his canon
Review by kev rowland

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