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Cliffhanger: Mirror Site (CD, 57:11); Musea FGBG 4242.AR import An electric wind instrument opens "Rainforest" setting a Braheny/ Roach mood. Along comes Jobsonish/(Theme of Secrets) rebounding synths and (Zinc) rhythmic sounds. Syncopated, ritualistic, K. Crimson lays the tribal aura on you as PFM/(Photos of Ghosts) vocals invade briefly to fly away. Permeate all this with Stan Whitaker/Steve Hackett guitars as a superbly restrained beast about to lurch. That was just track one. Next track(s) worthy of note is the 26:49 Mirror Site I, II, and III. An extended musical investigation is launched into the internet threat/impact on the psyche by virtual life. Mellotron synths, PFM vocals, in the angst/introspective wail cover you as manic instrumental flights lure you into the cyberworld of despair. An infinite landscape swallows you -- the endless, listless ennui drains. Overdone theatrics? Perhaps -- but think back to Voyage of the Acolyte. Excellent musicianship, imaginative, novel electronica and guitar fugues keep the listener ennui at bay. Vocals reach Peter Gabriel heights and tight-metered compositions recall Birds of Fire and Crafty Hands. Mirror Site III loses the vocals in a Return To Forever/ Bill Connors fusion tribute. We waste away in Varese analog, electronic sputtering ad libitum. Appropriate finish to a cyber tale. The other tracks on this CD are each pleasing in their own way and mesh nicely in a "whole-album-concept" tone. Listen for Djam Karet, Floyd, Edgar Froese, Yes, Night Watch, and even Seals and Croft cuz it's all there. A very 70's, "I-can't-stop-this-crazy- guitar-lead" album finale, firmly rivets the progrock label to Cliffhanger. Artsy CD packaging mirrors this band's expertise. A keeper. -- John W. Patterson
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